The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act
Passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has profound implications for financial services firms. Of particular importance to hedge funds, fund of funds and private equity firms is the SEC registration requirement. All investment advisers with assets in excess of $150 million must now register with the SEC.
So what part will technology play in the ability of funds to effectively navigate the new requirements imposed by SEC registration? It would be foolish to suggest that any one technology solution is the full answer to a firm’s compliance reporting and audit needs. But certainly a comprehensive, industry-specific CRM like ProTrak Advantage CRM will certainly play an important role, as many of ProTrak’s existing clients have already testified.
For example, several clients have said their on-site audits have been a “breeze” since they started using ProTrak. Having maintained accurate Activity logs with attached documentation, they just sat the examiners down at a ProTrak work station, pulled up the accounts they wanted to audit and that was pretty much it. “It’s like one-stop shopping”, commented one client. All of the investor’s information was available from one convenient screen – all e-mail communication with linked attachments, phone and meeting notes, historical account valuations, scanned documents, due diligence and offering documents.
SEC requirements state that all e-mail correspondence and instant messaging must be saved for at least five years, with the last two years readily available. Obviously a CRM program does not replace the need for e-mail archiving at the source, but ProTrak provides several easy-to-use techniques for integrating e-mail into its database for permanent retention and instant access. E-mails can be added instantly from “automated” e-mail folders, imported in bulk, or added via 1-click buttons by individual users. Staff sending e-mails from Outlook may use the convenient “Send & Add to ProTrak” button, or, as some clients prefer, all items in the Sent folder can be automatically added to the CRM without the users’ knowledge. And the Compliance Officer can set an option so that e-mail activities cannot be deleted from the database.
A major benefit provided by ProTrak Advantage is ability to easily configure the CRM to import data from any number of external accounting or administrative systems. The ability to re-configure ProTrak without IT support means that clients can easily import the data required for compliance reporting as well as internal management needs. Imports may occur effortlessly using the Automated Task Scheduler and the Ad-hoc Reporting engine lets clients easily mine the database for important metrics required by the new regulations.
In conclusion, ProTrak clients that were previously registered with the SEC have found that their CRM proved invaluable for internal compliance support as well as for on-site SEC audits. As more firms are SEC-registered, they too will see the advantages a comprehensive CRM solution like ProTrak can offer.