LinkedIn’s fatal flaw for financial advisor compliance

Thursday, Oct. 21st, 2010

LinkedIn has a whopping flaw for advisors who’d like to keep their compliance officers 100% happy, and there’s no solution in sight. At least, not to my knowledge.

The problem is records retention, which is at the heart of conservative management of compliance risks from advisor communications. Much of what you post to LinkedIn can be automatically saved and archived using solutions provided by third-party vendors. But there’s no way to do this for messages sent via LinkedIn.

How to cope with LinkedIn’s weakness

If you’re a solo financial advisor who’s not subject to rigorous compliance controls, you may use one of the following approaches:

  1. Taking the risk of neither automatically nor manually archiving messages
  2. Manually copying your LinkedIn messages to your corporate email account, which I assume is automatically archived, by clicking on “Include others on this message” and then checking the “Send me a copy” box below the message.
  3. Avoiding the use of LinkedIn messages, although the LinkedIn message function cannot be disabled–at least not to my knowledge

If you work for a large, conservative organization, your compliance department may ban you from using LinkedIn. I know this happens.

What’s the problem?

The barrier to solving this LinkedIn message problem may lie with LinkedIn, according to a communication from the @Backupify Twitter account. But I’m not sure if this is a challenge specific to Backupify or to all vendors.Meanwhile, I must thank @BillWinterberg of FPPad for connecting me with Backupify.

To back up what you can on LinkedIn

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a partial solution, Arkovi backs up most of LinkedIn. I believe that some of the firms listed in my blog post on “FINRA/SEC compliance for bloggers,” such as Smarsh and Socialware, also tackle this problem.

Please tell me if I’ve overlooked a solution. I’d like to share it with my readers. Meanwhile, check with your compliance professional about how to keep them satisfied as you use LinkedIn. You CAN do it.

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5 Comments on “LinkedIn’s fatal flaw for financial advisor compliance”

  1. Blane Warrene Says:

    Thanks Susan for covering this important topic considering survey statistics show financial professionals using LinkedIn more than any other medium on social media.

    LinkedIn has the youngest API (though they had an older API they released and then closed) – first released last year in the fourth quarter. Though we see them continuing to nurture the integration opportunities and open up new content.

    Arkovi archives what the API offers currently (status updates, profiles, network updates, etc) and continue to add components as they are released.

    We are big fans of LinkedIn due to its use as a relationship tool – which we take advantage of now as well as in our previous lives with investment advisory firms and broker dealers.

  2. Susan Weiner CFA Says:

    Thanks, Blane. Writing this blog post made me realize that Arkovi has more capabilities that I should take advantage of.

  3. Michael Diamond Says:

    Thank you for covering an important topic. Enjoyed the read.

  4. Susan Weiner's Blog on Investment Writing – Guest post: “Be Compliant When Using LinkedIn Messages” Says:

    [...] An earlier post on InvestmentWriting.com highlighted a “whopping flaw” in LinkedIn’s messaging system that poses compliance issues for financial advisors. The concern is that no viable solution exists to archive and retain messages using settings on LinkedIn. [...]

  5. Susan Weiner's Blog on Investment Writing – Social media lessons from the top nine Investment Writing posts for 2010 Says:

    [...] LinkedIn’s fatal flaw for financial advisor compliance [...]

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