Safely Embracing the Power of Social Media


Course Description:

Public signals that the SEC and FINRA are highly focused on social media include the SEC National Examination Risk Alert: Investment Adviser Use of Social Media; SEC Investment Management Guidance for Mutual Funds, and most recently, FINRA’s Targeted Examination Letter regarding Spot-Check of Social Media and the SEC Division of Investment Management’s 2014 Guidance on Testimonials and Social Media Communications. A review of SEC administrative proceedings that charged advisory, broker-dealer and mutual fund firms in social media scams also helps firms understand when social media policies are inadequate.

Friends and profiles, professional networking, micro-blogging, and policies on social media site use must now be addressed in compliance programs. Moreover, the SEC has asked advisers for documentation on how they use social-media sites and blogs. Examiners are also gathering more information about advisers’ policies that govern how their employees may – or may not – use social media. In addition, the SEC has requested information about how advisory firms retain records of its employees’ use of social media including non-business use of social media and networking sites.

Are your employees using firm premises and equipment to communicate with clients in the social networking environment? Is e-marketing being conducted? What about the confidentiality of firm and client information? This seminar will bring you up to speed on implementing compliance policies and procedures for social media communication portals, the risks they pose and regulators’ expectations regarding oversight and documentation.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course you should be able to:

  • List the SEC and FINRA requirements and best practice pertaining to advertising, recordkeeping and oversight of social media
  • Identify the risks posed by the use of social networking sites
  • Develop and apply effective compliance procedures to regularly monitor the use of social media sites by employees
  • Defend the firm’s social media policies and procedures during an SEC examination

For Whom: Designed to increase the professional competence of financial securities professionals with legal, compliance, operations and management responsibilities.

Suggested Skill Level: Intermediate

Instructional Method: Group Internet-Based

Pre-requisites for participation: No prerequisites are required. However, attendees can benefit by reviewing the SEC and FINRA communications regarding social media to become familiar with requirements and best practice.

Advance Preparation: None

Continuing Education Credits

NRS Continuing Education Guide
Maximum recommended CPE Credit: 2 in the Regulatory Ethics field of study
Maximum recommended IACCP® CE Credit: 2
Maximum recommended CA MCLE Credit: 2