If you’re starting your own registered investment adviser (RIA) firm, you may have a number of employees who have grown used to working at home and would prefer to continue to do that. Being able to accommodate remote employees can help you attract the best people. Further, having a portion of your staff working remotely can allow you to lease a smaller office space, which can help your bottom line.
Because RIA firms are subject to strict regulations and need to be particularly concerned about compliance and security, it’s crucial to ensure that having remote employees doesn’t compromise your business and its responsibilities to your clients.
Ensuring compliance when employees work remotely
An RIA firm needs to hold its employees responsible for completing necessary compliance-related steps and remaining in compliance with government regulations as well as internal policies and procedures. There are software programs that can help you do this remotely. However you do it, ensuring compliance regardless of where an employee is physically located is crucial.
Cybersecurity issues and compliance
If employees are working remotely and using their own personal computers and other devices, they (and the business) are at greater risk of security breaches, cyberattacks and scams that can compromise private client data as well as business information.
Employees should use a virtual private network (VPN) or at least have a secure WiFi connection with plenty of malware protection. No non-public documents or information should be on any device that isn’t properly secured. Since the usual on-site supervision isn’t possible, it’s crucial that employees understand the importance of password protection and following other security protocols no matter where they’re working.
By having clear, detailed systems and processes in place for remote employees, you can help ensure that your business remains in compliance with all regulations and that your data is not compromised. This may require some additional documentation, systems and training. Having legal guidance as you do this can be helpful.