Ignites move over linked in


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Ignites move over linked in

  1. 1. Print | Close WindowMove Over, LinkedIn: Social Media Site ForFund Pros LaunchesBy Jackie Noblett May 15, 2013A new social media platform for the financial services industry aims to help advisors and assetmanagers connect in a controlled and compliant fashion.Finect made its U.S. beta debut at the end of April to complement its similar social network inEurope, launched in 2010. The European version posts a membership of 50,000 and includes theparticipation of several asset managers, including Fidelity Worldwide, Putnam, HendersonGlobal Investors and BBVA Asset Management.Financial advisors and asset managers can set up pages to distribute information aboutthemselves to users of Finect and other social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. They canalso set up public or private groups to share information and content, much like LinkedIn.Social media is an increasingly important channel for fund firms to interact with advisors. Some90% of advisors surveyed by American Century earlier this year have a social media site, with40% using social media for business purposes multiple times a week.Despite recognition of the power of social media, the control and compliance aspects of using theplatforms remain a major barrier for fund firms, says Jennifer Openshaw, president of Finect.“This platform allows them to use social media in many ways, including connecting to the otherthree platforms, and still be compliant,” she says.Compliance is a big part of Finect’s offering. It worked with former Fidelity deputy generalcounsel and current K&L Gates partner Stuart Fross to develop a compliance module that allowsindividuals to track and record social media content as well as export compliance reports inaccordance with SEC and Finra rules.The site also uses its relationship with information vendor Discovery Data to vet the credentialsof members purporting to be financial professionals. This helps asset managers comply withrules around communications with such professionals, Openshaw says.Employee monitoring and control is another major obstacle to social media acceptance thatFinect is looking to alleviate. The platform can give employers a way to set up social media
  2. 2. accounts for employees on the platform and control the sort of content they can create or sharethat is associated with the company.This could be used as a way for fund firms to recognize their employees’ desire to engage insocial media for business purposes yet still monitor it effectively, says Theresa Hamacher,president of Nicsa and a member of Finect’s advisory committee.“One of the practical challenges is you’ve got all of these venues and all of these different placesand the physical management of this is difficult. Finect pulls it all together in a unique packagewith a compliance module so you can say, ‘We do want you to do social media but we want youto do this through Finect,’” she says.But it is a challenge for a new social network to reach critical mass and find a home in asaturated market, some industry experts say.“I definitely understand the rationale and I respect the effort, but it’s going to be an uphillclimb,” says Pat Allen, founder of Rock the Boat Marketing. “There is a kind of membershipfatigue; how many networks can you join? There has to be something compelling.”Openshaw says Finect has many characteristics that differentiate it from other social mediaplatforms, including business-minded LinkedIn, while also being a thoroughfare to syndicatecontent across those other mediums.For example, with Finect, fund firms will soon be able to create a library of educational contentconnected to the company page, says Openshaw. Individuals and fund firms can set up groups todiscuss financial topics, from products to investing themes. And information and commentaryabout a particular product or theme is searchable.Ignites is a copyrighted publication. Ignites has agreed to make available its content for the soleuse of the employees of the subscriber company. Accordingly, it is a violation of the copyrightlaw for anyone to duplicate the content of Ignites for the use of any person, other than theemployees of the subscriber company.An Information Service of Money-Media, a Financial Times Company