BUSINESS CONTINUITY DISCLOSURE
The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (“SFA”) has developed a Business Continuity Plan that describes how we will respond to events that significantly disrupt our business. Since the timing and impact of disasters and disruptions is unpredictable, we must be flexible in responding to actual events as they occur. We are providing you this summary information about our Business Continuity Plan.
SFA is an introducing broker-dealer offering services through registered representatives who report to branch offices. All accounts opened through SFA are held and maintained at other financial institutions. Brokerage accounts through which stocks, bonds, options and mutual funds can be purchased, sold, or held are maintained at our clearing firm, Pershing, LLC. Accounts opened directly with mutual fund companies, insurance companies and direct participation sponsors are held at those firms. SFA does not maintain custody of its customers’ assets.
Contacting Us –Each registered representative reports to an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (“OSJ”). Each OSJ Manager, in turn, reports to the Home Office. Because business disruptions vary in scope, in the event of a significant business disruption, you may contact your representative directly, his/her OSJ Manager, the SFA corporate office or the custodian of your account, depending on the scope of the disruption.
If after a significant business disruption you are unable to contact us through your registered representative, his/her OSJ Manager, or at our firm telephone number, (678) 954-4000, you should contact the firm which holds and maintains your account (your account custodian). Each custodian is required to maintain a Business Continuity Plan. In the event of a significant business disruption, these companies will continue to provide you with prompt access to your account, and process transactions as you may instruct.
Our Business Continuity Plan – We plan to quickly recover and resume business operations after a significant business disruption and respond by safeguarding our employees and property, making a financial and operational assessment, protecting the firm’s books and records, and allowing our customers to transact business. In short, our business continuity plan is designed to permit our firm to resume operations as quickly as possible, given the scope and severity of the significant business disruption.
Our business continuity plan addresses: data backup and recovery; all mission critical systems; financial and operational assessments; alternative communications with customers, employees, and regulators; alternate physical location of employees; critical supplier, contractor, bank and counter-party impact; regulatory reporting; and assuring our customers prompt access to their funds and securities if we are unable to continue our business.
SFA and Pershing LLC, back up our important records in geographically separate areas. While every emergency situation poses unique problems based on external factors, such as time of day and the severity of the disruption, we have been advised by our clearing firm that its objective is to restore its own operations and be able to complete existing transactions and accept new transactions and payments within seventy-two hours. Your orders and requests for funds and securities could be delayed during this period.
Varying Disruptions – Significant business disruptions can vary in their scope, such as only our firm, a single building housing our firm, the business district where our firm is located, the city where we are located, or the whole region. Within each of these areas, the severity of the disruption can also vary from minimal to severe. In a disruption to only our firm or a building housing our firm, we will transfer our operations to a local site when needed and expect to recover and resume business within forty-eight hours. In a disruption affecting our business district, city, or region, we will transfer our operations to a site outside of the affected area, and recover and resume business within seventy-two hours. In either situation, we plan to continue in business and will notify you through our customer emergency number 678.954.4000. We will also post important information on our website at www.thesfa.net. If the significant business disruption is so severe that it prevents us from remaining in business, we will work with our clearing firm and product sponsors to assure our customers’ prompt access to their funds and securities.
For more information – If you have questions about our business continuity planning, you can contact us at 678.954.4000.