Advisor Group, one of the largest independent broker-dealer networks in the nation, today announced a new social media effort that will allow its advisors to utilize social media sites for their marketing and networking needs.
Advisor Group leveraged SunGard's Protegent Social Media Surveillance offering to develop an interface that will be housed on its proprietary VISION2020 Advisor Portal, a single sign-on website that provides advisors access to client account information, office automation, compliance and marketing tools, the cutting edge VISION2020 Wealth Management system for fee based advisors, personalized news, alerts and more. SunGard's Protegent Social Media Surveillance will help Advisor Group further support its advisors' use of social media to grow business while remaining compliant with regulatory obligations.
"Social media sites have become a very powerful communications tool for today's financial advisors," said David Ballard, Chief Information Officer of Advisor Group. "Last November we set out to create the most flexible, advisor-friendly and compliant social media offering in the industry and we considered many vendors over the last seven months to ensure we built the best solution for advisors. We've been piloting our offering with small focus groups since February and we are eager to launch our interface to all advisors."
Advisor Group's social media interface will be powered by SunGard's Protegent Social Media Surveillance solution to help enforce internal social media policies and manage supervisory regulatory requirements. Protegent will help the firm monitor and archive advisors' content posted to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Protegent's alerting, reporting and pre-approval workflow will help Advisor Group proactively adhere to FINRA books and records surveillance requirements.
"We worked closely with Advisor Group to develop a truly unique social media platform for their advisors," said Steve Sabin, Chief Operating Officer of SunGard's Protegent business. "Our Protegent Social Media Surveillance solution will help Advisor Group support its advisors' use of social media sites while having increased transparency into potential risk exposure."
To ensure advisors understand social media sites and how to develop content, Advisor Group has begun offering online and live training courses for advisors. In keeping with Advisor Group's "All Ways Open Architecture" initiative, advisors may choose to create their own content or pull from over 3,500 pre-approved, professionally created and customizable pieces from Advisor Portal's Marketing Library to incorporate into their posts and Tweets. The integration of the Marketing Library, powered by Forefield, with SunGard's Protegent Social Media Surveillance solution is an industry leading combination that has already begun to help advisors provide high-quality marketing content through their social media sites.
"Whether administrative related posts, securities related tweets, or marketing and communications messages, we will train advisors on how to leverage social media and better market themselves to clients and prospects," said Art Metzger, Vice President, Advertising Supervision, Advisor Group. "Incorporating Protegent's social media offering into VISION2020 Advisor Portal means advisors benefit from single sign-on access to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This allows our advisors to seamlessly make social media marketing a part of their daily routine, without sacrificing the time they need to be spending on other client-facing activities."