08/18/2011 09:11:00 AM EST
Report on Investment Adviser’s Use of Social Media in Massachusetts
Media used by Investment Advisers
There is a growing trend in the financial services
industry to use social media sites for outreach to existing as well as
potential customers. Noticing this trend, the Securities Division of The Office
of the Secretary of the Commonwealth surveyed investment advisers registered
and doing business within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The purpose of the
survey is to determine the scope of investment advisers' use of social media,
and what, if any, record retention and supervisory procedures have been
implemented or utilized by those advisers. Empirical evidence is good to have.
The Division forwarded the social media survey to 576
investment advisers registered with the Division and located in the
Commonwealth and 79% of advisers have responded.
of investment advisers used some form of social media
those not using, 10% expect to use it in the next year
majority of investment advisers using social media fall within the 42-62
The Survey also suggests that some advisers do not have
policies relating to the retention or supervision of social media content, are
not retaining social media content, and do not supervise the use of social
of advisers using social media claimed to not have written record
retention policies related to the retention of social media content
also did not retain all content posted on social media websites maintained
(directly or indirectly), by the firm.
It should not come as surprise that the Division
concluded that additional regulatory guidance concerning the use of social
media would be appropriate. We have already seen enforcement
at the national level for the abuse of social media. I expect the states
will be on board soon and including a review of social media as part of their
examination and review process.
additional commentary on developments in compliance and ethics, visit Compliance Building,
a blog hosted by Doug Cornelius.
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