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Morgan Stanley to Allow Some Social Media Use

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Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) said Wednesday that it will allow about 600 advisors to fully access LinkedIn and partially access Twitter starting in late June. Over the next six months, it plans for its entire FA force of about 17,800 financial advisors to have access to these social-media outlets.

The pilot group includes members of the firm’s Chairman’s Club and other advisors who have been working with the firm for the past year on social networking.

“This roll-out will continue our recent history of innovative communications strategies, including being the first firm to introduce an internal social networking site for financial advisors (Advisor Insights) and the first to introduce texting capabilities,” wrote Andy Saperstein (left), head of U.S. wealth management, in a May 25 memo.

“Also, building on this momentum, later this summer the GIC will present an iPad application that was recently piloted with positive feedback.” Saperstein explained. “We are the first major wealth management firm to announce a vendor solution for our advisors to use key social networking sites to market themselves and share the firm’s intellectual content, while complying with regulatory requirements."

While social networking may be off limits for the other wirehouse firms, Raymond James Financial and Commonwealth Financial Network moved to allow their advisors to engage in certain social networking activities earlier this year.  

In the coming weeks, Morgan Stanley says it will implement a “technology solution that will capture and retain all communications on approved social networking sites to comply with regulatory requirements,” Saperstein said.