Increased safety precautions and guidelines around COVID-19 have catalyzed the adoption of remote conferencing and other cloud-based software for registered investment adviser ("RIA") firms to continue managing business operations from remote locations. As this may be a dramatic shift for many firms, ineffective use of videoconferencing and other cloud-based software may lead to operational challenges, employee disengagement, and decreased levels of productivity. To help RIA firms maintain connectivity during extended remote work periods, we are sharing how RIA in a Box uses Zoom, Slack, and LastPass to successfully stay connected company-wide with our entire team now working remotely.How RIA in a Box is Using Zoom for Internal Meetings
- Office-Wide Daily Meetings
- RIA in a Box holds two 15-minute check-in calls via Zoom with each of its respective offices daily. These are scheduled for once at the start of the day and once toward the end of the day. In the morning, we provide company announcements, to address challenges or logistical problems caused by remote work, and to give general updates on the greater health, economic, and regulatory environment. For the end of the day check-in, we use that time for a fun "group" activity. This includes contests such as "Best Virtual Background", trivia, ice-breaker questions and more.
While these are unprecedented and scary times, we believe it's very important to make sure your team is still able to relax and have some fun. For example, we strongly encourage our employees' children to join in and say hello as well!
- Weekly Company Meetings
- Twice a week, RIA in a Box holds company-wide meetings with our teams in New York City, San Francisco, and Cleveland. These meetings have been moved from teleconferencing software to video-conference via Zoom. This gives our offices the opportunity to see others that they may not see on a day-to-day basis and familiarize faces across offices. Monday's company-wide meeting is focused more on general company and industry updates while Friday's meeting is a more deep dive with team by team updates to make sure everyone is aware of each team's top priorities and challenges to foster better overall collaboration across the company.
- Team Meetings
- Individual teams now meet daily via Zoom. This allows for "face-to-face" meetings for teams to collaborate on priorities, timelines, and projects. This includes 1-1 meetings with direct supervisors.
- New Client Onboardings and Sales Demos
- We also use Zoom extensively during the sales and onboarding processes. Our new client onboarding team conducts all MyRIACompliance® software training sessions for a firm's Chief Compliance Officer and all other employees live via Zoom.
How RIA in a Box Uses Slack to Communicate Internally
- For internal communication, RIA in a Box uses Slack, an instant messaging platform which allows for employees to efficiently communicate, share files, and and collaborate with others in a secure manner. Slack is available across all devices allowing for instant communication from any location. By shifting all internal communication to Slack many years back, we've been able to greatly reduce many traditional cybersecurity risks such as targeted email phishing attacks given we do not communicate internally via email.
- During these serious and turbulent times, it's also important to make sure your team is able to keep the mood light whenever possible. For example, we created a "Quarantine" playlist on Spotify which we shared in Slack. You can listen to it now on Spotify by clicking here!
How RIA in a Box Uses LastPass for Password Management
- Like many RIA firms, we utilize many cloud-based technology systems at RIA in a Box including Slack and Zoom. LastPass is our password management tool of choice at RIA in a Box to help more securely manage the multitude of system usernames and passwords.
- A password manager tool facilitates the use of strong passwords and can provide audit and tracking capabilities to ensure that each staff member is following the firm's user login credential information security policies. For example, password manager tools often provide the capabilities to each individual user:
- Automatically generate unique, random passwords for the user for each software system
- No longer require the user to remember or insecurely save multiple login credentials
- Allow the user to access secure passwords online, offline, and across multiple devices
- Identify weak current passwords that may not be strong enough or used for multiple systems
- Automatically update passwords on a regular basis
- For an administrator or RIA firm principal tasked with managing the firm's information security procedures, password manager tools also often provide these additional features:
- Implement and require 2 factor authentication at the firm level rather than separately for each software system
- See a full audit trail of all firm software systems accessed by each individual user
- Ensure that each individual user is using strong, unique passwords with the ability to set and enforce custom password policies (length, strength, etc.)
- Grant or remove user access to all firm software systems in a single interface
- Receive alerts if a user's login credentials are believed to be compromised online
RIA in a Box LLC is not a law firm, investment advisory firm, or CPA firm. RIA in a Box LLC does not provide legal advice or opinions to any party or client. You should always consult your relevant regulatory authorities or legal counsel if applicable.