Social Networking Site for Advisers Says It’s FINRA-Compliant

The new social networking site linkedFA said it is the “first and only FINRA-compliant social networking site for financial professionals.”
The site is planning to launch later this month, following an invitation-only pre-launch registration for early adopters.

linkedFA is a social networking site for financial advisers, registered representatives, registered investment advisers (RIAs), insurance advisers, and financial planners. The site allows advisers to connect with investors, clients, and peers.

The company said in a news release that it offers “all the social media and client relationship building benefits of social networking sites, while addressing the regulatory needs of the financial community including, but not limited to, FINRA-required compliance, supervision, and recordkeeping features.” linkedFA also complies with document retention rules under 17a-3 and 17a-4 of the Securities Exchange Act 1934. All communication relating to business will be kept for more than six years and all records will be maintained as per Rules under 17a-3, the company said.

linkedFA said it incorporates proprietary reputation management software in order to separate personal and private information with secure access for diverse audiences and uses the highest security standards to protect users from unauthorized disclosure of information.

While regulators have not provided direct guidance about social networking, Richard Ketchum, Chairman and CEO of FINRA, recently announced the establishment of a FINRA Social Networking Task Force  (see “Think before You Tweet” and “FINRA Forms Social Networking Task Force”). Ketchum cited regulatory challenges to Web. 2.0 innovations, such as the difficulty archiving communications.

linkedFA was developed in anticipation of the market need for a compliant social networking site, the company said. “Financial professionals want to use social networking to connect and interact with clients,” said linkedFA CEO Brian Byrne, in the release. “By using linkedFA, financial professionals can do more business, attract investors, and enhance their professionalism.”