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Alternative Market Briefing

SEC issues guidance update on social media filings made by investment companies

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: The Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Investment Management has published a guidance update from its staff to clarify the obligations of mutual funds and other investment companies when seeking review of materials posted on their social media sites. This is the first in its "IM Guidance Update" series, which will offer the staff’s views on emerging legal issues. The goal of the guidance is to increase transparency and enhance compliance with federal securities laws and regulations.

Information in these guidelines deals with which types of information must be filed with regulators such as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for review before being disseminated to the public. The guidance document provides a number of examples funds can use to determine whether they need to file potential advertisements with FINRA for review, including how funds can respond to queries presented on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The examples were provided in response to a number of filings that contained social media posts, even though they were not required as most contained incidental mentions or guidance to already public information.

Much of the guidance is devoted to clearing up this confusion, noting that incidental mentions of a fund, or social ......................

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