By AlexAnndra Ontra
Being wrong is bad. Being wrong in a meeting and projecting incorrect information projected onto a screen for everyone to see is worse. Or perhaps you’ve given a financial presentation that includes outdated data and wrong disclosure statements to a potential investor, and as a result, you ended up in Legal with FINRA and the SEC auditing your business. That’s the worst, by a million times! While content may be king, compliance is critical.
Finance moves fast. Stock values change every minute, deals come and go and speed to market is critical to the success of every investor. Wealth advisors and brokers need visual content, on demand, so they can address their clients’ priorities. At the same time, there is no margin for error. The information needs to be correct, up to date and compliant. Oftentimes, it must pass a chain of lengthy approvals before it is ready for a prospect. HQ needs to control the message and the quality of the information, while the advisor in the field needs to act and react quickly.
To maintain compliance, thereby avoiding fines from regulatory bodies like FINRA and the SEC, broker-dealers and advisory firms are taking a more holistic approach and applying presentation management strategies to their investor decks, investment summary one pagers and all other content. Presentation management lets them control the creation, distribution, updating and customization of content without sacrificing productivity in the field.
Here are some specific presentation management practices that you can implement into your organization. Once all the content is collected and stored, it’s time to put it into action and force upon workflows that maintain compliance organization-wide. Some specific presentation management practices include:
- Centrally Managed Location for Presentations and other Files. Presentation management starts with collecting and storing your company’s content in one cloud location, that is easily accessible to everyone in your team. Someone or a group should monitor and manage the content to ensure that it is compliant, accurate and that it is actually getting used.
- Controlled Permissions. Who gets access to what content is critical within financial organizations, and it is vitally important that only qualified people have access to sensitive information. For example, content meant only for broker-dealers cannot be disseminated to the public. Certain investors aren’t suitable for an investment product or an advisor is not qualified to sell a particular product. Controlled permissions protects the firm and its advisors from outside risks, and they direct advisors and personnel to the sales and marketing content they need. Controlled permissions are about who gets what content and what they are allowed to do - download, edit, present, share, etc. - with that content.
- Forced messaging. Forgetting disclosure statements is one of the quickest ways to have a regulatory watchdog knocking at your door. By tagging content with corresponding disclosures, or even better, forcing the disclosure statements into a presentation as an advisor builds his pitch, will help avoid costly fines or debilitating lawsuits.
- Organization wide-updates. All types of content within a financial organization - particularly marketing and sales literature - are constantly being refined and updated until they are proven to convert. However, without the proper workflows in place, it can be easy for outdated or inaccurate information to get out, which can result in regulatory fines, lost revenue and more, especially when advisors share amongst one another. Whoever manages all the content should have the ability to edit and push out all updated information so that all client-facing professionals stay current, and therefore, compliant.
Whether it’s maintaining existing business, attracting new clients or communicating internally, advisors and broker-dealers are constantly developing content and creating PowerPoint slides that include sensitive information vital to company and client success. By putting a presentation management strategy into action, your organization will mitigate the risk of the crucial information getting out while streamlining the entire process - from creation, to sharing, presenting and updating. Presentation management keeps it all compliant.
AlexAnndra Ontra is Co-Founder of Shufflrr and author of Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content.