Electronic Communications: Current Technological Landscape and Relevant Regulatory Measures (Part One of Three)

Although the use of various messaging applications and platforms in business communications had been steadily increasing before the pandemic, a widespread, mandatory remote work environment accelerated the pace of adoption. With pandemic restrictions loosening and many returning to the office, regulators’ interest in ensuring fund managers’ compliance with recordkeeping and supervisory obligations for electronic communications may be poised to rise. Thus, now is a good time for CCOs and other compliance officers to review their firms’ electronic communications policies and ensure they account for new technologies. This first article in a three-part series sets out the regulatory framework for electronic business communications and delves into how and why managers are facing a seismic shift in the way their employees and investors communicate. The second article will offer practical advice on ways CCOs can prepare policies and procedures, as well as training tactics, to ensure proper practices by their employees. The third article will provide tips for using third parties to capture and archive electronic communications; ways to mitigate risks associated with social media; and guidance on satisfying document requests. For more on electronic communications, see our three-part series: “Are Hedge Fund Managers Receiving the Message?” (Nov. 30, 2017); “Are Hedge Fund Managers Heeding the Message?” (Dec. 7, 2017); and “Are Hedge Fund Managers Controlling the Message?” (Dec. 14, 2017).

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