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ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 23, 2011 — Today, LIMRA and Socialware introduced their new social media training program to more than 300 financial services sales, marketing and distribution leaders at LIMRA’s 2011 Distribution Conference in Orlando, Fla.

Insights: Advisor Series is designed to provide financial advisors and agents with crucial guidance on key social media sites and their functionality while providing a framework for appropriate and compliant social media use through best practices and insights.

“Many social media websites have become more influential than the traditional communication tools used in the past,” said James Kerley, president, LL Global Services. “It is vital that our industry incorporate social media into their day-to-day business activities to reach more consumers – in particular the younger generations. However, without the proper knowledge and training, financial advisors may not know how to best use social media while remaining compliant of the current regulatory requirements. We are proud to help provide our members with this valuable solution to keep them competitive, compliant and successful.”

A 2010 Socialware survey showed that more than 60 percent of financial advisors use social media for business purposes and, of those, nearly 50 percent have been able to identify new referrals that resulted from their social networking presence. The use of social media by financial professionals will continue to increase and is expected to grow to over 70 percent by the end of this year. While use of these tools is clearly advantageous to advisors, without oversight a company could be put in danger of being out of compliance with FINRA regulations.

In order to take full advantage of the potential of this new channel and avoid the potential hazards, financial services firms must begin by training and educating end-users on the platforms. With the launch of Insights: Advisor Series, firms can educate themselves on effective, secure social media practices, while accelerating adoption and catalyzing value derived from this new channel.

The Insights: Advisors Series is a self-service training subscription, which meets the suggested social media education and associated requirements proposed in the FINRA Regulation Notice 10-06. Available exclusively to Socialware Compass clients, this new offering will provide agents and financial services professionals with a framework for adopting these sites in a compliant manner, equipping users with a strategy for taking full advantage of this new communications channel within the bounds of industry regulations. It can be operated on any e-Learning management system and allows firms to customize the training to provide the company-specific policies to financial advisors.

“Social networks are the most dynamic and evolving communications medium in recent history, making the potential to connect with prospects, customers and referrals a huge asset, but without compliance education and best practices it will be difficult for firms to find real value in this new channel and move forward as an industry,” said Chad Bockius, CEO of Socialware. “As these social networks continue to proliferate in the industry – from independent dealers to large enterprises – Insights: Advisor Series will provide a solid foundation in best practices and real-world lessons to keep financial service professionals within the bounds of the latest regulatory requirements. We are excited to partner with LIMRA on this innovative and necessary effort.”

LIMRA’s Distribution Conference typically draws more than 300 sales, marketing and distribution leaders in the life insurance and financial services industries. The event provides a unique opportunity for attendees to share their experience and knowledge with their colleagues and counterparts and gain strategic insights on all distribution channels from industry experts.

Socialware Contact:
Mickey Nelson, 651-214-4472, mickey@bradypr.com

About LIMRA

LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 73 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness.

About Socialware

Socialware bridges the gap between the enterprise and social networks to transform the way that companies and their employees engage, communicate and collaborate with clients, partners and one another. You can find out more about Socialware at www.socialware.com.

Media Contacts

Catherine Theroux

Director, Public Relations

Work Phone: (860) 285-7787

Mobile Phone: (703) 447-3257

ctheroux@limra.com

Brooke Lacey

Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: (860) 298-3920

Mobile Phone: (413) 530-6184

blacey@limra.com