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Jul 11, 2006 4:50 pm

How many of you have your manager read EVERY email you exchange with a client?


You know that clients save the emails you send them, there better be an idication that your manager saw it BEFORE you sent it or your arse will be grass if something happens and that client talks to a lawyer.


Same for instant messaging--if you so much as say that the client should consider buying something from you you're doing the equivalent of a letter to a client and it better have been approved by the manager.


This is one of the nightmares a firm like Jones is trying to avoid.


There are reasons why things are the way they are.

Jul 11, 2006 7:50 pm

How about someone emailing from their home email address? Where is the

control in that situation? Damage could very well be the same to the client.

The reason Jones does not use email is not for the reason you described.

Jul 11, 2006 9:15 pm
The Truth:

How about someone emailing from their home email address? Where is the
control in that situation? Damage could very well be the same to the client.
The reason Jones does not use email is not for the reason you described.


There probably is no "control", other than the fact that most people have signed an agreement that says doing so in a firing offense. Worse yet, the NASD will give your employer cover when they dump you.

Jul 11, 2006 9:19 pm
The Truth:

How about someone emailing from their home email address? Where is the
control in that situation? Damage could very well be the same to the client.
The reason Jones does not use email is not for the reason you described.


Is there anyone who can honestly say that they need, not want but need, e-mail in order to make a living?  For how many of us is e-mail a handy way to pass around the jokes du jour and nothing more? 


No, I'm in agreement with EDJ on this one.  E-mail is a ticking bomb.  Ask any of the senior management at Enron, MCI or the myriad of companies now having little chats with the SEC regarding option grants.  I'm quite certain that they'd rather had never heard of e-mail.

Jul 11, 2006 11:08 pm
Starka:
The Truth:

How about someone emailing from their home email address? Where is the
control in that situation? Damage could very well be the same to the client.
The reason Jones does not use email is not for the reason you described.


Is there anyone who can honestly say that they need, not want but need, e-mail in order to make a living?  For how many of us is e-mail a handy way to pass around the jokes du jour and nothing more? 


No, I'm in agreement with EDJ on this one.  E-mail is a ticking bomb.  Ask any of the senior management at Enron, MCI or the myriad of companies now having little chats with the SEC regarding option grants.  I'm quite certain that they'd rather had never heard of e-mail.



Yes I can say that. I don't NEED email to do my business, but I do need it.  I routinely get forms E-mailed to me from companies. Updated information that I wouldn't have in paper format in my office or that I would have on hand but in huge redundancy that is clogging my backroom.   The ability to get, at a very short notice, proposals for life insurance and long term care and up to date mutual fund hypothetical right before a client comes in for an appointment would not have been possible without E-mail.  Downloading software  for proposal systems instead of waiting days or weeks to get the CD is wonderful.  Oh, wait.. that's the internet.


Do I communicate with my clients via E-mail?.  Not much. Do I offer products via E-mail or send sales material...never. However, for those clients who expect to be able to receive PDF files of their statements on demand or other information: to not be able to offer that service has just branded you as being obsolete and waaaay behind the curve.  People in my daughter's age group and social circles live and die by the Internet, email and instant messaging.  If we can't keep up with technology, then we deserve to be out of the loop.


Are there are ways to get around the company E-mail system? Of course.  I could open a yahoo account....but how credible would THAT be with my clients?   Not.


E-mail is just like any other system out there. If there is a will to deceive, we will find a way.  Just because a tool can be abused is no reason to take it completely away from us.  Otherwise, we wouldn't be allowed to use sharp pointy instruments or run with scissors.

Jul 12, 2006 12:27 am

Agreed... I use email to DRIP our firms research to a client or prospect..... If they are open to receving such material, I find it incredibly efficient to lob in a call to leave a message and alert them that I will be emailing some relevant research... I have actually turned a 150K household into one approaching 400K by being able to quickly PDF a note to a client..... Much quicker than printing, typing the letter, making copies for compliance, labeling the envelope, walking to the far corner to drop in the mail area, etc....

Jul 12, 2006 8:33 am
blarmston:

Agreed... I use email to DRIP our firms research to a client or prospect..... If they are open to receving such material, I find it incredibly efficient to lob in a call to leave a message and alert them that I will be emailing some relevant research... I have actually turned a 150K household into one approaching 400K by being able to quickly PDF a note to a client..... Much quicker than printing, typing the letter, making copies for compliance, labeling the envelope, walking to the far corner to drop in the mail area, etc....


The warning stands.  If it's cleared for public consumption it would be considered appropriate for e-mail.  But you have to be careful with what you put with it.


The NASD is getting very concerned about this--ugly has yet to raise it's head.

Jul 12, 2006 9:13 am
blarmston:

Much quicker than printing, typing the letter, making copies for compliance, labeling the envelope, walking to the far corner to drop in the mail area, etc....



Why wouldn't your assistant to this kind of stuff?

Jul 12, 2006 10:20 am

Because I am still relatively a small pup around here. My assistant, who is GREAT on follow up, transfers, account opening, telephone presence, etc, is assigned to a heavy hitting team....


Also, I have been used to doing it myself from my previous firm. Not a big deal. Its done early in the morning or on Sat mornings before callbacks begin....


But I do prefer email in terms of efficiency.

Jul 12, 2006 10:30 am
Maxstud:
blarmston:

Much quicker than printing, typing the letter, making copies for compliance, labeling the envelope, walking to the far corner to drop in the mail area, etc....



Why wouldn't your assistant to this kind of stuff?


Your assistant would do this stuff, if you didn't use E-mail.  It is just a more efficient use of time, yours and your assistant's.  It is also less costly in terms of paper, postage, copies etc.  Now you and your assistant can do more productive activities.


As to NASDs point, yes the regulators are looking very carefully at the use of Email and unauthorized websites.  Just like anything else in our industry it can be abused. Do we send every single letter sent to clients for pre approval. No. The paper letters that are "one off" account maintenance types (here is a form we need you sign), and  personal notes (thanks for meeting with me, sorry to have missed you) that contain no product recommendations are not sent for review prior to being sent for compliance review.  This would bog us down to a level that we can get nothing done at all since (at least in my indy firm) it takes several days to get approval.  


Paper letters that are going to be sent to more than one client and that may contain product information or additional fliers are sent for approval and so what if it takes a few days.  There isn't that much urgency in this type of correspondence.  This same type of correspondence sent via E-mail is intercepted and reviewed and archived before being allowed to continue on it's electronic way and it may also take a few days.  If you don't want to wait to see if your letter will be bounced back all you need to do is get the preapproval first. No big deal.


Most firms have a method to monitor and archive E-mails and only allow websites by pre approved vendors.   It is new technology and new procedures will be developed. 


Actually the review process and archiving of E-mail correspondence is a much more efficient method than the snail mail photocopy, manual filing honor system that we currently use.  Of course I can't speak to how the bigger firms are handling this monitoring of paper correspondence. 


Jul 12, 2006 10:46 am
NASD Newbie:

How many of you have your manager read EVERY email you exchange with a client?



I do.  I have a company provided email address that I use for any correspondence that I send to or recieve from clients.  Sure I could use one of the other multiple email addresses that I have, but why should I put myself in that situation?


I have another email address that I use for vendors so that I don't have to wait hours or even days to recieve material from them.  Things like hypos, insurance proposals and forms that I don't have on stock that aren't available to download from the internet that are needed in a short period of time.  That is also the email address that I get all the promotional spam from the mutual fund companies, emailed articles from the WSG and financial types of newsletters.


It keeps my priorites in order to have multiple E-mail boxes. First look at the company box, then look at the vendor box and print out the articles I like or transfer to saved for future reading, then look at my personal box for friends and family, then if I have any time, look at the junk box I use when I post things on the internet, then look at my husbands personal box, and then his junk box.  Takes about 5 to 15 minutes every morning.  I waste entirely too much time, for fun,on this website


In addition I send my emails to clients through the ACT for Advisors program which will also archive my sent email in the client's sub folder where I keep electronic copies of year end statements, snail mail sent, and any other archival information about the client.


I don't know why people think this is such a big deal.  We can cheat just as easily with the paper trail as with the electronic trail.  If you are a cheater nothing is going to stop you

Jul 12, 2006 11:07 am
babbling looney:

Sure I could use one of the other multiple email addresses that I have, but why should I put myself in that situation?



Are you [email protected]?

Jul 12, 2006 11:09 am
babbling looney:

I don't know why people think this is such a big deal.  We can cheat just as easily with the paper trail as with the electronic trail.  If you are a cheater nothing is going to stop you



Do you have any pillows with "Cheaters never win and winners never cheat" embroidered on them?

Jul 12, 2006 1:34 pm
NASD Newbie:
babbling looney:

I don't know why people think this is such a big deal.  We can cheat just as easily with the paper trail as with the electronic trail.  If you are a cheater nothing is going to stop you



Do you have any pillows with "Cheaters never win and winners never cheat" embroidered on them?



Why?  Are you selling some on e-Bay?

Jul 12, 2006 1:53 pm
Philo Kvetch:
NASD Newbie:
babbling looney:

I don't know why people think this is such a big deal.  We can cheat just as easily with the paper trail as with the electronic trail.  If you are a cheater nothing is going to stop you

Do you have any pillows with "Cheaters never win and winners never cheat" embroidered on them?


Why?  Are you selling some on e-Bay?


Jul 12, 2006 7:26 pm

I use email all the time to communicate with clients.  I find it very easy to the rationale behind a particular recommendation.  My manager reads all of them, just not before they are sent.  As long as I have all the proper disclaimers and I'm not doing anything stupid, then I'm okay.  It's also a way for me to prove that I disclosed certain items, like fees.