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Alternative Market Briefing

Social media offers investment advisers easy interaction with investors, but SEC raises compliance conerns

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Keith Robinson
Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued two alerts at the end of last week concerning the use of social media for investors and investment advisers. The alerts are the first in what is likely to become a growing regulatory framework governing the use of social media outlets around investments.

Social media is here to stay. However, for financial professionals, social media can be a minefield of compliance concerns. Social media provides another avenue of communication between investors and investment advisers, however, rules concerning record-keeping and how those conversations should be handled have yet to be fully fleshed out.

I spoke with Keith Robinson, Partner, at New York-based law firm Dechert, LLP about how investment advisers are navigating social media.

According to the 2011 MHP Survey of hedge fund professionals, less than 1% of hedge fund managers are on Twitter. The same is true for other social media sites like Facebook. Involvement is somewhat higher - 23% - on LinkedIn, a more professionally focused website but hardly a social network in the traditional sense.

However, investors are increasingly lever......................

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