GUIDELINES FOR ADVISERS: SPEAKING TO THE PRESS
Investment advisers making public appearances, whether on television, radio shows, at conferences or conducting interviews with the press, need to be aware of the following regulatory considerations. This checklist should be reviewed before speaking with the press or otherwise making public appearances.
Considerations Prior to Interview/Appearance
- You should not make statements that guarantee, promise or predict investment results or make exaggerated claims. Phrases such as “We believe . . .” or “We feel . . . “ or “In our opinion . . . “ should be used to convey your thoughts. For example, “We feel the stock market may rise by 5% this year.”
Discussing Specific Securities
- If you plan to talk about securities that you or your firm owns or it is currently recommending/selling, you should establish an internal black-out period which restricts personal trading in those names for at least three (3) days before and after the interview. If you are asked unexpectedly about a specific security during an interview, a three (3) day post interview black-out period should suffice.
- There is no requirement for you to disclose that you or your firm owns a particular security you talk about, but it is best a best practice. A seasoned interviewer will probably ask. We recommend making this disclosure in any event.
- If you discuss specific securities during the interview, your chief compliance officer should test to ensure that stocks are not being hyped and then sold by the firm or its employees. In other words, check securities discussed during interviews against personal and client trades to ensure nothing improper is taking place.
- We advise using caution in discussing performance or strategies. If you discuss performance (or expect the subject to be raised during the interview), be prepared to provide the interviewer with full performance information both orally and in hard copy.
- It is not easy to capture and record interview content. If interviews are scripted, you should keep full transcripts of the interview and the pre-approval for the interview.
- If the press/media prints the interview, your responsibility is to use your best efforts to provide the media outlet with full disclosure. However, if you distribute interview reprints, then all regulatory compliance requirements lie squarely with the you.
- Never discuss a private fund that your firm may sponsor to avoid violating private placement exemptions.
- Never discuss confidential information, investigations, or regulatory actions or litigation involving you or the firm without the prior knowledge of counsel.
- Maintain written policies and procedures to give guidance to the firm and its employees on do’s and don’ts of interviews. Make sure you know these policies.
- We recommend each firm appoints a designated press contact for the firm.
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This newsletter is published as a source of information only for clients and friends of The Securities Law Group and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The delivery of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not create, an attorney-client relationship.
THE SECURITIES LAW GROUP