FinTwit Set To Lose Some Of Its Most Prominent Voices Due To Loss Of Anonymity

Financial twitter is set to lose some of its more prominent "anonymous" voices in just a few days. The reason: in a decision that has passed largely under the radar, beginning in 2018, the SEC will require registered investment advisors - i.e. carbon-based asset managers, hedge funders and so on, to disclose any anonymous social media accounts, on their Form ADV.

This goes back to a recently filed amendment to Form ADV, i.e., the "Umbrella Registration" for asset managers, specifically Item 1.I. as described below by K&L Gates:

Recognizing the increasing use of social media by advisers, the SEC has also amended Item 1.I. to request information regarding the registrant’s accounts on publicly available social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Previously, Item 1.I. only asked for information about an adviser’s websites. Now, the registrant must provide, in addition to its website addresses, the addresses of each of its social media pages in Section 1.I. of Schedule D. However, a registrant should not provide the addresses of websites or accounts on publicly available social media platforms where the registrant does not the control the content, nor should it provide the website and social media addresses of its employees’ accounts, regardless of whether the registrant controls the content of such accounts.

While many prominent asset managers enjoy twitter's anonymity and hide behind a pseudonymous account, their true ids are usually familiar to those in the industry. Still, the forced disclosure requirement could open many of the more outspoken - if erudite - voices to litigation and generally unpleasant legal involvement with those who disagree with them, resulting in potential money management complication.

In an example of just that, moments ago one of the most popular "anonymous" accounts on twitter, that of a certain Wall Street Cynic, famous for his bearish persuasion since the days of Enron, has just announced his departure from twitter.

There were of course, some humorous takes on the topic...