Wall Street & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


05:10 PM
Connect Directly

The MONY Group has deployed an email archiving and instant messaging solution to meet regulatory compliance requirements. But the instant messaging component is not being turned on just yet.

The MONY Group went live with an e-mail compliance system for the broker/dealer arm of its insurance company, but is holding off on adding instant messaging, according to Jay Cohen, vice president and chief compliance officer at The MONY Group. "That will probably be a business decision," says Cohen.

The New York-based diversified financial-services company completed implementation of an integrated solution consisting of EMC Centera Compliance Edition content addressed storage (CAS) system and AXS-One Email and Instant Messaging Management Software.

The initial rollout supporting 2,000 Lotus Notes accounts was finished within a six-week timeframe with additional accounts now being implemented.

The final phase of implementation, which begins next month, is meant to support MONY's instant-messaging application, according to the news announcement. But that appears to be on hold since Cohen says there is not much instant messaging in the company, and brokers are not permitted to communicate with clients via instant messaging at the present time.

E-mail retention has been rolled out to the entire broker/dealer sales force of MONY Securities Corp., the broker/dealer arm of the insurance company. It has also been rolling out the surveillance part of it to various parts of the organization, he says.

"All the e-mails are being retained through it. We have a combination of key words and samples for the surveillance piece of it," explains Cohen. Regulators require that securities firms should be in a position to access the e-mails in case they are investigated or the subject of litigation. "This will archive it, index it and make it retrievable all of that," says Cohen.

According to Matthew Bienfang, senior analyst in the Retail Brokerage & Investing practice at TowerGroup brokerage securities firms "want to get their arms around the e-mail issue. A lot of them are adopting e-mail surveillance and record management. They are saying, best I have a well-architected defense of something, than discovering it at the same time as the prosecutor is," he says.

Until now, brokers at MONY have had an obligation to retain e-mails and make then available for surveillance. "This is just a more comprehensive electronic system to do that," says Cohen. Before hiring these vendors, MONY used a combination of onsite surveillance and internal systems. "We didn't use a vendor like this before," he says. Even though AXS-One has the ability to manage instant messages, says Cohen. MONY has not rolled out instant messaging yet. . Right now, the firm's policy is not to use instant messaging to talk to clients. "There are two ways to handle instant messaging: You either have to be able to control it, or not use it. We're not using it," says the head compliance officer. That policy could change if the business side makes a decision to permit IM. "This technology will give us the ability to manage instant messages if the business decides it wants to allow it, he adds.

Prior to selecting EMC and AXS-One, MONY considered a variety of vendors. "We needed (a vendor) that was going to manage our traffic, had the ability to expand into instant messaging and had the ability to expand into other parts of the company if we wanted to do that," he says. "Obviously, some reasonable price was a factor," he adds. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

Register for Wall Street & Technology Newsletters
Stressed Out by Compliance, Reputational Damage & Fines?
Stressed Out by Compliance, Reputational Damage & Fines?
Financial services executives are living in a "regulatory pressure cooker." Here's how executives are preparing for the new compliance requirements.