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October 07, 2009

E-mail Archiving: Complying with SEC Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Part 2 of 10)

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor


Editor’s Note: In its 10-part series highlighting governmental rules and regulations associated with the management and storage of electronic communications, TMCnet recently looked at the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. This week, TMCnet is focusing on federal rules associated with investment advisers.
 
The story highlights the SEC Investment Advisers Act of 1940, a law revised in 2005 that requires provisions to secure, manage and archive electronic communication, such as corporate e-mail, to protect customers from possible fraud or mispresentation. It discusses how 123Together.com (News - Alert), a leading provider of hosted business services, GuardDoc Hosted E-mail Archiving Solution can help companies adhere to the federal law.
 
When the Securities and Exchange Commission mandated new rules a few years ago on private investment pools, also known as “hedge funds,” fund managers had more work to do to protect their clients.
 
According to the new rules of the SEC (News - Alert) Investment Advisers Act of 1940, firms or sole practitioners compensated for advising others about securities investments with assets of more than $25 million must register with the SEC, as well as conform to a set of regulations designed to protect investors. Specifically, those new rules applied to electronic communication, such as e-mail, to ensure that customers are properly securing, managing and archiving the data for added protection in the event of fraud or misrepresentation.
 
As e-mail is one of the primary means for quick and easy communication, fund managers are looking for e-mail storage solutions which will help them comply with this federal regulation. 123Together.com, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of hosted business services including hosted Exchange and e-mail archiving, helps fund managers to comply with the law.
 
For example, the SEC law says that fund managers must have duplicate copies of archived messages, including e-mail. One copy must be stored in an online archive and a second copy must be stored on offline tamperproof media, such as Write-Once-Read-Many, or “WORM” technology. The law also requires that all indexed e-mail must be easily retrievable and downloadable to other media.
 
Officials from 123Together.com said the company’s GuardDoc hosted e-mail archiving service helps fulfill those compliance requirements. The service, for example, indexes all e-mail header, body and attachment components, which users can quickly search through the company’s secure Web-based interface and can easily be retrieved in a variety of formats, including .pst, .pdf, text, and mime. What’s more, the service also offers storage for users’ archived e-mail on WORM compliant storage.  
 
The act also requires that archived e-mail be dated, time-stamped and serialized. Messages must be assigned a unique, sequential identification number to prevent possible deletion. 123Together.com said its hosted e-mail archiving for compliance service guarantees that all messages are archived and original data is kept intact. The company also assigns a unique number to e-mail messages to ensure that no messages are deleted, officials said.
 
The GuardDoc service offers unlimited e-mail storage for a small, monthly fee. The service can be set up and activated within minutes. Users can retrieve data around the clock using any Internet-enabled device, and have access to technical support at all hours, if needed.
 
123Together.com is offering a 30-day, no obligation trial on its Web site.
 
Check back for the next segment on the Freedom of Information Act “Sunshine Laws.”

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney




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