Social Media Surveillance Needs Increase

Terry Flanagan

Financial firms’ use of social networking sites to promote their businesses can present significant risks if the content violates internal communication and regulatory policies.

“The forces impacting demand for Protegent products in the U.S. are primarily Finra and SEC regulations which mandate requirements for supervision, suitability, sales practice review, books and records retention, and advertising communications,” Steve Sabin, chief operating officer of SunGard’s Protegent business unit, told Markets Media. “Additionally, firms are looking for strategic vendor partnerships with proven leadership in the compliance automation space.”

First Allied Securities, a full-service independent broker-dealer, has selected SunGard’s Protegent Social Media Surveillance to help establish and enforce policies relating to the use of social networks by its independent financial advisors and to mitigate exposure to regulatory risks.

Protegent’s social media platform offers First Allied a dynamic, easy to use tool for enforcing social networking policies and complying with FINRA’s requirements, according to Mark Quinn, chief risk officer of First Allied.

Protegent’s solution will be integrated into First Allied’s email archiving system and help support email surveillance and review processes. First Allied will use Protegent to help monitor and archive advisors’ social networking activity and quickly identify content that might be considered a breach of internal or regulatory policies.

“By leveraging Protegent Social Media Surveillance, First Allied’s financial advisors are able to compliantly engage clients using social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.,” said Sabin.

The goal is to provide end-to-end social media policy enforcement that helps firms develop and administer policies, train and educate employees and manage regulatory compliance obligations.

The technology enables firms to manage supervisory requirements set forth by Finra notice 10-06 by utilizing tools for moderation and pre-approval of content that have the potential to be considered advertisement, said Sabin.

The product is the result of a partnership between SunGard and SiteQuest Technologies, a provider of social media Web archiving tools. The solution leverages SiteQuest Technologies’ Web consumption technology and SunGard’s Protegent compliance rules library to automate monitoring of social networking activity.


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