SOURCE: Finect


April 30, 2013 08:55 ET

Finect Launches Into Public Beta: Introduces Compliant Social Media Network for Financial Services Industry

Discovery Data Partnership Will Provide Members With Access to 630,000 Licensed Professionals

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2013) - In the wake of the SEC green lighting the use of social media for corporate financial news, Finect today launches the industry's first online network dedicated to serving the distinct social media needs of the financial services industry.

The platform, now in beta, will allow members to communicate -- publicly or privately -- with each other and/or their clients in a high-quality and regulatory-compliant community. Its unique approach has been tested in Europe with financial advisors, asset managers and investors, including Fidelity Spain, BBVA, and the European Financial Planning Association.

"The financial industry can't afford to wait for piecemeal adoption of social media when it's driving behavior at lightning speed," said Jennifer Openshaw, president of Finect, founder of Women's Financial Network, and a nationally known consumer financial advocate. "That's why we want forward-thinking financial advisors to join Finect now -- to help move the industry forward. It's about turning the SEC's initial move into a real leap for financial advisors, asset managers and even compliance officers."

Finect enables advisors, asset managers and other professionals to create an online presence and build a community for free. For companies, Finect provides a single platform to manage and track employee usage of social media and engage with customers and prospects while remaining compliant. Beta users' input will help drive development and addition of features and are invited to join now for premium access at no cost (basic membership includes compliance and is always free; there is no commitment).

Current features allow beta users to:

  • Easily create online profiles - Seamless integration with LinkedIn lets advisors and other professionals quickly present themselves and their business and share opinions and content.
  • Communicate broadly with One-Stop Social - Post once, distribute to many (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook), and track all employee activity.
  • Create groups - Based on themes (e.g. ETFs, college savings, impact investing) or companies, groups let advisors engage with and instantly update clients, prospective clients, employees, peers or the public.
  • Validate credentials - To raise the quality and integrity of the community and peer networking, registered professionals carry a badge.
  • Ensure compliance - Includes content/social media permission controls, tracking, and reporting for FINRA/SEC compliance.

Finect also verifies that professionals are, in fact, registered representatives active in the industry, through a partnership with Discovery Data. The integration makes it exceptionally easy for advisors and other registered professionals to join and use Finect through start-up profiles already created for more than 300,000 advisors. Discovery owns the industry's broadest and most up-to-date database of 630,000 registered professionals.

"Finect is filling the void as advisors are leveraging technology, communication is becoming more social, and compliance becomes more tricky," said Denmark West, former president of Digital, BET Networks and a Finect advisor.

"Companies can finally operate in the social media world and track all employees in one location," said Theresa Hamacher, CEO of the National Investment Company Services Association (NICSA).

Other Finect advisors include such industry experts as Discovery Data CEO Bob Herrmann; John Morris, managing partner, Snowden Capital LLC and former head of Private Client Services International for Merrill Lynch; NICSA CEO Theresa Hamacher; and Santiago Satrustegui, CEO of Abante Asesores and former managing director of Morgan Stanley.

"It's a truly open, agnostic platform," said Snowden partner Morris. "Finect allows for an exchange that has never happened before."

To join as a Founding Member with premium access at no cost, go to Finect. (Basic membership is always free.) Additional information is located here.

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