The Compliance Violation You Carry in Your Pocket

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

Instant Messaging Apps Become an Expensive Compliance Headache, Preventing Elder Abuse, Improving Regulatory Clarity for Alternatives in ERISA DC Plans and More

To My Fellow WSR Community Members:

If you went through airport security, what would they find in your purse or pocket? Keys, some coins, folded napkins or a credit card holder? Likely, airport security wouldn’t find any violations on your person – but don’t ask your chief compliance officer!

Don’t tell my CCO what you found!

The one device you can’t live without – the miracle of modern technology that organizes your life and centralizes your communications, calendar and, oh yes, your phone calls, too – might be in violation of firm compliance policy.

Most of us use at least one instant messaging app, like WhatsApp, to carry on chats with friends and family. And, since clients are often friends, it’s easy for your personal messaging to spill over into your professional life. 

It’s no trivial matter – just ask the mega financial institutions that regulators have forced to cough up millions in fines for these unmonitored client communications! 

Today, we explore the compliance issues and trends with instant messaging apps, as well as regulatory clarity for defined contribution plans holding alts, and steps you can take to uncover and prevent elder abuse. 

Welcome to Our New Deputy Managing Editor

Before describing this week’s offerings, I would like to introduce our Deputy Managing Editor, Chris Latham, who joined our team this week. Chris is a two-decade veteran writer and journalist with extensive experience at other leading financial media outlets, and he also has served many companies in our industry. 

We are excited to welcome Chris aboard, as his expertise and passion for our industry will meet the rising demand from you, our WSR Community, for expanded growth-centric, actionable content that can help your businesses achieve their strategic and financial goals.

This Week’s Issue

Without further ado, here’s what we have for you this week:

Compliance hurdles for messaging platforms
  • In Beltway & Beyond, we talk with Scott Brooks, the COO of wealthtech firm RealBlocks, about progress towards regulatory clarity and safe harbors for ERISA defined contribution plans investing in alternatives, a clarity that traditional pension plans have enjoyed for decades. 
Know the red flags to prevent elder abuse
  • How can you stop elder abuse? In our Words in Edgewise section, Jason Vinsonhaler, Director, Compliance at RIA in a Box, part of ComplySci, describes the rampant problem of elder financial abuse and gives three steps professionals can take to prevent it. These include taking suspicions to the appropriate authorities, setting firm procedures in place and educating your team on red flags.  

Sponsor Content Partner Series by SFA Partners Addresses Investment Control

We also bring you the second installment of a Sponsor Partner Content series from Strategic Blueprint, an SFA Partners company, exploring the control of the investment management process. Strategic Blueprint’s President, Julie Sullivan, explains that some advisors serve their clients best by choosing an affiliation model that provides freedom and flexibility in investment management. 

Please share your thoughts and ideas on these topics and any others with us, and send us difficult questions to ask the experts!

Our presence on LinkedIn is growing thanks to you! You can find us there and easily share our growth-oriented articles and analyses with friends and co-workers. 

Have a great week!


Larry Roth, CEO

Wealth Solutions Report

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