March 09, 2010

New and fully compliant social networking site linkedFA is launching to give financial advisors, registered representatives, registered investment advisors, insurance advisors and CPAs the opportunity to interact with investors.

The website is compliant with FINRA's supervision and record keeping regulatory requirements -and offers all the social media and client relationship building benefits of Facebook and Linkedin with a unique document retention feature which stores all communication between financial professionals and investors relating to business for a minimum of six years as per the Securities Exchange Act 1934 rules under 17a-3.c, according to a release. These communications are extractable and reportable at any time.

linkedFA's proprietary reputation management software separates personal and private information with secure access control for diverse audiences. Members can create three separate profiles to interact and display different information to clients, peers and recruiters enabling them to present a professional image and demonstrate their business integrity to enhance investor confidence. It adopts the highest privacy and security standards protecting users from information poaching, phishing,spyware, malware, hacking, and illegal and unauthorized disclosure of personal or confidential information, the release states.

Other features include document storage for private and safe document sharing between relevant individuals and real time information share and comment; My Blog, which can be public outside the site if so desired; Photos and Videos; My Resume, to demonstrate FAs credentials and experience; and My Network, displaying personal networks of members.

The shift in acceptance towards social networking for financial professionals was demonstrated last month with the publication of FINRA guidelines 10-06 helping financial firms to establish procedures for communicating with the public through blogs and social networking web sites, linkedFA noted. Says linkedFA CEO, Brian Byrne: "Social media is changing the way we do business. Until now, the financial world was largely prohibited from using it due to compliance issues. linkedFA is focused on improving the Financial Advisor's ability to grow relationships with investors without the concern of security, privacy and reputation risks of other social media sites."

[linkedFA notes that the site is not approved by, endorsed by, or affiliated with FINRA.]

Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...