Archive for category Compliance
When I started my career, I couldn’t have imagined how social my online work world would become.
Things like LinkedIn®, Microsoft® Lync®, IBM® Connections, and Skype™ are so integrated into my workday that connecting, IM’ing, and blogging with colleagues are all as natural and effective as sitting face-to-face over coffee.
Just like new ways to keep in touch with my colleagues and friends have emerged, some headed for the sunset like long-time friend Microsoft Live Messenger. But don’t say “Bon voyage!” just yet. You can use your Live ID to move your Live Messenger account and contacts to Skype today.
And if you’re a Skype user who works in a regulated industry like financial services, or if you work for a company that has other strict legal or corporate governance requirements, Actiance has great news! With Vantage™ for Skype, you can use Skype on your company’s network to stay in touch with the folks you need to get things done in a safe and compliant way.
It gives your company the tools it needs to meet strict requirements for regulatory, legal, and corporate compliance across a wide variety of networks, including Skype. And for a limited time, existing Actiance customers using Vantage or USG to support Microsoft Live Messenger can enjoy special pricing on Vantage for Skype.
So go ahead and start a Skype chat with a buddy in Santiago, share the latest product news with a colleague in Paris, or send a vacation photo to a friend in Vienna. With the trusted governance the Actiance platform provides, you can be sure you’re keeping the good stuff in while keeping the bad stuff out.
When I first accepted my position at Actiance as the Social Media and Compliance Specialist, I was told that it was expected that I “friend” my manager and colleagues. Having come from FINRA, where we intentionally never “friended” each other on Facebook, the whole concept made me cringe. So I avoided it as long as I could. Finally I admitted my hesitation to a colleague, “I’m pretty goofy on Facebook” and she replied, “Don’t worry, we all are”. And by goofy, what I meant, is that I’m just my honest self. Movies that I like, events that I attend, great finds on shopping trips, photos of my bird, travel adventures, and even some silliness from time to time.
Her comment encouraged me to take the plunge. And you know what? Since then, I have really enjoyed learning about the personal lives of my colleagues. As I work remotely, Facebook has become my virtual water cooler. I learned about Sarah Carter’s passion for sailing in the freezing cold (brrr) or hurtling down a mountain in a bobslide at 80mph (yikes!), or about a Lisa Stokoe’s baking (yum) and sewing adventures, and even my shared passion for all things Star Trek, with Jeff Podraza.
Since then, I’ve even “friended” business associates and former colleagues. I now know a very serious financial services journalist loves her pugs, that an esteemed social media strategist, Augie Ray, is a movie buff like me, and that the chief compliance officer of a major broker dealer has a passion for fried food. I even went back and “friended” many of my colleagues at FINRA and was delighted to discover how multi-faceted they really are. Who knew?
For me, there really is no longer any bright white line between my personal and business life. And I think that’s the way the world is going. In my travels at Actiance, I hear many stories from clients whose financial advisors and agents use Facebook to initiate and nurture relationships with clients. After all, for them, life events (engagement, wedding, new baby, new job, illness, parents in assisted living, etc) are opportunities to provide more suitable product to their clients. And what better what to learn about the lives of your clients than on Facebook?
Learning about the personal lives of my colleagues, clients and business associates is highly entertaining and enhances my life every day. And I think it makes it easier to work together knowing that you have some common ground. After all, we all want to work with people we like, right?
Today’s post comes from Norv Leong, Director of Product Marketing at Actiance.
Yeeeeee haaaaawwww! Having just returned from stuffing my face with BBQ beef brisket, chicken chili, and cornbread, I’m left to ponder what I gleaned (besides a few extra LBs) from the 2nd Annual Energy Trading Operations and Technology Summit 2012 in Houston, TEXAS (cuz everythang’s big in TX).
First off, many industry participants are still confused about what the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) means to them. From banks to brokers to energy traders, nearly everyone in attendance bemoaned DFA and the additional burdens it places on them. Add to the mix this year’s meaty sanctions from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and it’s crystal clear why many firms are nervous about what they need to do to stay out of FERC’s crosshairs.
The sanctions imposed on Constellation Energy ($245 million) and Barclays ($470 million) were eye-popping, and they showed this watchdog ain’t takin’ no mess. FERC wields a big stick and intends to use it. Crucial to FERC’s credibility and success are its policing of the energy and utilities industry to avoid Enron-like fiascos from happening again.
The industry is swimming in complexity, as evidenced by the alphabet soup of acronyms (CFTC, NFA, NERC, DCO, DCM, SDR, EMIR, to name but a few) and the bewildering number of players (brokers, traders, banks, hedge funds, clearinghouses, regulators) and instruments (swaps, hedges, options, futures, etc.) in the game. Unfortunately, DFA doesn’t really simplify anything, but rather, just makes things muddier and more complex.
At the end of the day, however, it all comes down to monitoring trading activities, recording all relevant communications, and making sure that all transactions are done at arm’s length. If a trader executes a trade via Yahoo! IM, you best have a record of it. Or, if someone in Marketing tries to IM a buddy on the transmission side of the house, well, you better have a mechanism in place to make sure that communication doesn’t happen or a record of it is kept somewhere. All the players in the industry must play by these rules or risk getting nailed by the regulators.
And this doesn’t even include the legal ramifications of improper trading practices. Lawsuits are just as pervasive in the oil and gas industry as it is in other sectors like financial services and healthcare. Rogue traders can cost their firms millions or even billions of dollars (Nick Leeson ring a bell?), which means shareholder lawsuits are just around the corner.
So, given the litigiousness of today’s society and business environment, proper recordkeeping is crucial. When the legal hold comes, firms have to be prepared to lock down and produce relevant content in the event litigation becomes a reality. As a result, eDiscovery is growing ever more important in this day and age of multiple communication channels.
Indeed, DFA made its presence felt at the conference, but the attendees walked away with a little peace of mind knowing that technology exists to help them stay true to DFA provisions. Who woulda thunk that some good ole “Texas tea” could spawn such a chaotic mix of regulations, sanctions, lawsuits, and technology?!?!?! Yee haw to that.