March 29, 2013

H.D. Vest Picks a Compliance-Friendly Social Media Platform

After a year of research, the indie network of 4,600 financial planners has picked Socialware for its advisors to connect with clients

H.D. Vest has selected Socialware as its social media platform of choice. H.D. Vest has selected Socialware as its social media platform of choice.

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.
  • Updating Form ADV and Form U4 When it comes to disclosure on Form ADV, RIAs should assume information would be material to investors.  When in doubt, RIAs should disclose information rather than arguing later with securities regulators that it was not material.

H.D. Vest Financial Services announced Thursday that after conducting a year of social media platform research, it has selected Socialware as its platform of choice for its independent network of 4,600 financial planners.

Socialware allows advisors to communicate with clients through social media in a secure and compliant manner. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Socialware currently works with 160 businesses and specializes in providing them with secure and compliant software and services that allow them to market themselves with customers and prospects on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Irving, Texas-based H.D. Vest will launch a pilot program on April 16 with 50 advisors.  At its annual national conference in Miami on June 18 through 21, the firm will then offer all of its 4,600 advisors the chance to sign up for the social media program. Advisors who participate will use Socialware to identify business opportunities through their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter networks.

H.D. Vest President and CEO Roger Ochs said his firm will rely on Socialware’s experience in working with financial professionals who have to navigate complex regulatory responsibilities when using social media.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Socialware. As more and more Americans are utilizing social media in their daily lives, we believe this is an excellent opportunity for our advisors to stay in contact with clients and really understand what’s important in their lives,” Ochs said in a statement.

Founded in 1983, H.D. Vest Financial Services supports an independent network of tax and non-tax professionals who provide financial planning services that include securities, insurance, money management and banking solutions. The firm manages more than $30 billion in assets for 1.8 million individuals, families and small businesses in all 50 states.

H.D. Vest advisor Joe Bonfiglio of Holmdel, N.J., says he looks forward to using social media to connect with clients.

“I believe this medium has tremendous potential to keep me actively engaged with my clients,” Bonfiglio said in a statement. “Research has shown that engaged clients are both more loyal and more likely to refer new clients to their financial advisor. I am looking forward to using social media to help further strengthen my client relationships and grow my business.”

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Read Advisors Flocking to Social Media, but Still Misunderstanding Clients at AdvisorOne.

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