Best Practices for Investment Advisers Using Social Media to Mitigate Advertising Rule Violations and Other Risks

The advent of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other widely popular social media forums has had a dramatic impact on society at large, including the investment funds industry. Yet investment advisers and firms may not fully grasp the compliance and operational risks that new technologies and sites can pose. Questions abound as to whether social media can be used to provide material information to certain investors at the expense of others; when the line is crossed from informational content to marketing a fund; and whether the social media accounts of individual employees and representatives need to be monitored for compliance purposes. These issues were the subject of a recent Regulatory Compliance Association (RCA) PracticEdge session that offered insights from Heather Traeger, chief compliance officer for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; Parisa Haghshenas, a Branch Chief in the Chief Counsel’s Office of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management; Catherine Courtney Gordon, counsel at Morgan Lewis; and Isabelle Sajous, associate general counsel and deputy chief compliance officer at Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn. This article highlights the key takeaways from the session. For coverage of other RCA panels, see “Risks With Investment Allocation, Trade Execution, Soft Dollars, Client Solicitation and Valuation” (Apr. 14, 2016); and “Issues Pertaining to the Custody Rule, ERISA, Client Agreements, Fees, Codes of Ethics and Confidentiality” (Apr. 7, 2016). On May 18, 2017, RCA will host its annual Enforcement, Compliance & Operations Symposium in New York City. For additional information or to register for the symposium, click here.

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