Compliance professionals are struggling to keep up with the explosion of communications channels, including social media and mobile devices, according to the latest Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report from Smarsh.

The company’s sixth annual compliance survey found that gaps in enforcement, retention and policies remain very high, exposing firms to the risks of undetected fraud, errors and regulatory enforcement actions.

“Compliance professionals in financial services have a long and critical list of responsibilities that can impact a business, and the ability to benchmark their electronic communications compliance programs with those of their peers is a valuable exercise,” said Smarsh CEO Stephen Marsh.

Key concerns include growing regulatory scrutiny of electronic communications of all types, balancing privacy and compliance, management of the increasing number of communications channels, hackers and a dearth of personnel to meet the compliance burden.

Some 42% of respondents reported experiencing an examination by regulators within the past year, a significant increase from the 26% who reported examinations last year. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Expanding into new markets can be a daunting challenge for any business, but it is especially risky for small businesses. The Export-Import Bank of the United States works with companies of all sizes to get them the capital they need to safely expand internationally. In 2015, nearly 90% of the bank’s transactions, more than 2,300, directly supported U.S. small businesses.

In this post, Kenneth M. Tinsley, senior vice president of credit and risk management and acting chief risk officer, discusses how the bank is working to help small businesses with international expansion. He talks about available trade finance products and how the EXIM Bank can help.

Question: Tell me about the role the EXIM Bank plays in international finance?

Kenneth Tinsley: Particularly with respect to trade finance, we help fill in the gaps not funded by the private market to support U.S. (read more…)

The JOBS Act is now four years old and the crowdfunding industry is beginning to mature. SmartBrief met with Crowdfunder Co-Founder and CEO Chance Barnett and newly minted President and COO Steven McClurg earlier this week at the Milken Institute Global Conference to hear their thoughts on the JOBS Act and trends in venture capital. The pair also shared their insights on the VC Index Fund the firm launched last month.

Tell us a bit about the origins of the VC Index Fund that Crowdfunder just unveiled?

Chance Barnett: First I will start with the problem that is solves and then I will talk about the really big opportunity.

The problem it solves in that this new world of equity crowdfunding and platforms; how do you know what you are investing in? If you are an investor sitting at home who for the first time gets access to investing in new deals and entrepreneurs at a super early stage, it is hard to be certain. (read more…)

For startups looking for funding, the Milken Institute Global Conference is not a bad place to be to learn from some of the most creative minds in the venture capital industry. The conference featured a colorful panel discussion entitled How New Investors Are Influencing Venture Capital. SmartBrief chatted with Dave McClure, founding partner of 500 Startups, after the session to hear more of his thoughts on the current VC landscape.

There was a lot of talk during the panel about whether or not we are in the middle of a VC bubble in the US, but you said you are more concerned about China. Why?

I would love to be investing in China. There are great entrepreneurs there, but I think $#!+ is overvalued. It is starting to calm down a little bit now. The public market in China blew up during the last year or so. The private markets are still a little crazy, but maybe that will calm down enough for us to jump in more frequently next year. (read more…)

The economy is on the mind of virtually every American these days. CME Group Managing Director and Chief Economist was on hand Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., to participate in the “U.S. Overview: Will Recovery Prevail?” panel (scroll down for video of the session). SmartBrief caught up with Putnam after the panel to talk commodities and other factors that are bound to impact the U.S. and global economy.

What impact will the strategic plan released recently by Saudi Arabia have on global oil markets?

What we are learning about the Middle East is that they planned for $80-$100 per barrel oil prices forever. Now with prices at $40 or $45, they are really hurting. The Saudis actually had to go borrow money, and that hasn’t happened in forever. These countries are basically producing flat-out and we are going to see even more production with Iraq and Iran coming into the market. (read more…)