Or, how to settle a legal dispute in 35 seconds.
Carter Malone, vice president, compliance, at investment banker Crews & Associates, never leaves his desk, not even for lunch.
Malone’s job is to review the content and ensure the proper storage of all electronic communications that come in and out of Crews pursuant to Financial Industry Regulation Authority rules. “You have to retain electronic communications for six years at least,” says Malone. “And FINRA rules require that you review 20% of the communications. I average about 80%. I don’t want to miss something.”
According to a recent CFO report, FINRA regulators are paying closer attention to broker-dealers than ever before, even as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is “cracking down on broker-dealer accounting policies.” The financial-services industry is intensely regulated, which is one reason why Malone is chained to his desk. The other is the sheer volume of information that streams across his screen.
Before he came to Crews in 2004, Malone worked at a small firm with 18 employees. There, he simply accessed the company’s Exchange server and performed keyword searches for bad words. “For me,” he says, “a key word is guarantee. I don’t want to see that word. I can’t have a salesperson, a stock broker, use ‘guarantee’ in a communication. The other big word is ‘complaint.’ If we receive a complaint from a customer, the salesperson is not supposed to communicate with that customer. The rule says the complaint has to go to the salesperson’s supervisor and escalate to the compliance department.”
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By: David Rosenbaum