After years of avoiding the topic, on January 4, 2012, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a “National Examination Risk Alert” regarding “Investment Adviser Use of Social Media” (the “Alert”). Although the Staff explicitly states that the Alert is not a comprehensive summary of all compliance matters related to the use of social media, the Alert provides investment advisers with helpful guidance regarding the use of blogs and websites, including LinkedIn and Facebook.Of note, the Alert provides a warning regarding third-party content posted on an adviser’s social media web page. In particular, the Staff states that “depending on the facts and circumstances, the use of ‘social plug-ins’ such as the ‘like’ button could be a testimonial,” which is prohibited under the Advisers Act. In addition, the Alert highlights the need for investment advisory firms to develop effective compliance programs that specifically apply to the use of social media by the firm and its employees. The Alert provides guidance on the issues that investment advisers should consider when drafting and implementing such policies. Finally, the Alert discusses the recordkeeping requirements associated with an investment adviser’s use of social media, which should be carefully considered because of the challenges of preserving postings in the fast-moving world of social media. The Alert, which is only seven pages, is available here.
While we are pleased to have you contact us by telephone, surface mail, electronic mail, or by facsimile transmission, contacting Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship. The formation of an attorney-client relationship requires consideration of multiple factors, including possible conflicts of interest. An attorney-client relationship is formed only when both you and the Firm have agreed to proceed with a defined engagement.
DO NOT CONVEY TO US ANY INFORMATION YOU REGARD AS CONFIDENTIAL UNTIL A FORMAL CLIENT-ATTORNEY RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.
If you do convey information, you recognize that we may review and disclose the information, and you agree that even if you regard the information as highly confidential and even if it is transmitted in a good faith effort to retain us, such a review does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could be used against you.