Firms Closely Monitor Advisors’ Printing, Texting, Outside Activities in Remote Era

Posted on May 26th, 2021 at 2:16 PM
Firms Closely Monitor Advisors’ Printing, Texting, Outside Activities in Remote Era

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

Numerous senior compliance officials have outlined the difficulties of supervising advisors and overseeing a scattered workforce, even as firms consider whether to expand remote work options post-pandemic. The concerns were discussed by a panel of regulators and compliance experts who spoke at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Annual Conference. 

The main regulatory concerns stem from the printing of clients’ confidential information, sending unarchived texts messages from personal cell phones, and conducting unreported outside business. 

Firm compliance officials have been leaning on new supervisory tools, data and online monitoring, such as setting up Google alerts for advisors’ names. 

Compliance officers also are able to review an advisors’ phone records via a Zoom or WebEx call instead of having to meet in-person, according to Linde Murphy, chief compliance officer of M.E. Allison & Co. Inc. Murphy suggests that firms ought to track the volume of their enforcement or disciplinary actions during the remote era and compare it to pre-pandemic data. According to Murphy, substantial increases or differences in these figures should alert firms that current work-from-home policies must be altered. At the end of the panel discussion, all the experts agreed that firms must continue to monitor whether or not their firm is meeting compliance rules -- even as advisors begin returning to offices. 

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide in securities, employment, regulatory and disciplinary matters.

Tags: eccleston, eccleston law, pandemic, working from home, team

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