As part of our April 2011 Hedge Fund Benchmark Study, we asked hedge fund managers about the use of an email and instant message (IM) archiving system. Of the funds we surveyed, 61 percent of respondents who were using an archival solution said they were using Global Relay. Other popular vendors named in the survey included Symantec and Iron Mountain.
This was an important question on our survey, particularly in light of changing requirements under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank now requires registered investment advisers to retain email records for between five and seven years. In addition to regulatory requirements, investors are also looking for firms to have email and IM archiving in place as part of a complete technology infrastructure.
A comprehensive archiving solution will assist investment firms in responding to any audits or litigation discovery requests in a timely manner. An ideal solution, for example, should be able to effectively handle electronic discovery requests under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) by ensuring quick access to relevant data and avoiding disclosure of irrelevant, sensitive or proprietary information.
Another key requirement of an archival solution is the use of a dedicated server for storage. The use of an off-site, dedicated server aligns with regulators’ preferred archival method because it virtually eliminates concerns surrounding the potential intermingling of customer data.
Following are some additional best practices for email and instant message archiving for investor and regulatory compliance:
Retain emails and IMs for the prescribed amount of time by law (Dodd-Frank indicated firms should retain records for a minimum of five years)
Don’t (only) use tape backups – in the event of a disruption or disaster, you should be prepared with another method of retention
Store your data in a Write Once Read Many (WORM) format that preserves message integrity and prevents alterations
Allow for easy indexing and searching of files
Keep archived data on your own server and make sure it can be accessed quickly if need be
Finally, below are a few questions to keep in mind as you determine which email archiving solution is best for your firm.
For more information on Eze Castle Integration’s email archiving solution, Eze Archiving, click here.