Business Continuity Plan
JW COLE FINANCIAL, INC. BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN SUMMARY
At J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. (“J.W. Cole”) we recognize how heavily our clients rely on our systems and services. We also recognize that the unexpected can and does occur–from simple situations to major outages.
J.W. Cole has developed a comprehensive business continuity plan (“the Plan”) that is designed to ensure that the firm is prepared to continue providing service to our clients if J.W. Cole experiences a significant disruption of any kind to its business operations. The Plan addresses business disruptions of varying severity and scope and takes into consideration our critical third-party relationships. Features of J.W. Cole Business Continuity Plan include:
- Data backup and recovery
- Access to mission critical systems
- Alternative communications with customers, employees, and regulators
- Alternate physical location of employees
- Assuring our customers prompt access to their funds and securities in an event of a significant business disruption
Alternative Physical Location
J.W. Cole main office is in Tampa, FL. In the event of an internal SBD that necessitates evacuation, J.W. Cole’s staff have the capability to work remotely by connecting to the firm’s network from other remote locations including their homes. In the case of an incapacitated facility for an extended period, we will transfer staff from the impacted area to an unaffected area including out of state.
Customers' Access to Funds and Securities
J.W. Cole does not maintain custody of customers’ funds or securities. Generally, funds and securities are held either at our clearing firm, National Financial Services (NFS) or directly at a product sponsor. Since available funds are not held at J.W. Cole, they remain accessible directly through NFS or product sponsor, despite any business disruptions at J.W. Cole. Contact information for these entities is contained on the account statements you receive directly from them.
Backup Facilities and Arrangements
J.W. Cole maintains duplicate electronic records at an off-site Internet based location. In the event of an SBD, J.W. Cole expects to recover and resume its internal business operations within one business day of an internal SBD. If the SBD is so severe that it prevents us from remaining in business, we will assure our customer’s prompt access to their funds and securities.
For More Information
If you have questions about our business continuity planning, you can contact us at (813) 935-6776.
JW Cole Advisors
JW Cole Advisors, Inc. Business Continuity Plan Summary
At JW Cole Advisors, Inc. ("JW Cole Advisors") we recognize how heavily our clients rely on our systems and services. We also recognize that the unexpected can and does occur--from simple situations to major outages. Our business continuity plan is subject to modification. Updated plans will be promptly posted on our web site. Alternatively, our customers may obtain updated plans by requesting a written copy of the plan by mail.
JW Cole Advisors plans include the ability to recover from situations including, but not limited to, unplanned evacuations, power outages, major water, leaks, fire, loss of water, severe weather, and any facilities failures that may cause business interruption. Features of JW Cole Advisors Business Continuity Plan include annual reviews of the following:
Identification of all mission critical systems and system backup and recovery for such systems. A review of financial and operational risks. Alternate communications between J.W. Cole Advisors and our clients. Employee safety strategies and communications. Systems and telecommunications accessibility. Alternate physical site location and preparedness.
JW Cole Advisors Contingency Planning and Business Recovery
JW Cole Advisors’ policy is to respond to a Significant Business Disruption (SBD) by safeguarding employees’ lives and firm property, making a financial and operational assessment, quickly recovering and resuming operations, protecting all of the firm’s books and records, and allowing our customers to transact business. In the event that we determine we are unable to continue our business, we will assure customers prompt access to their funds and securities. JW Cole Advisors’ plan anticipates two kinds of SBDs, internal and external. Internal SBDs affect only our firm’s ability to communicate and do business, such as a fire in our building. External SBDs prevent the operation of the securities markets or a number of firms, such as a terrorist attack, a hurricane, a flood, or a wide-scale, regional disruption. Our response to an external SBD relies more heavily on other organizations and systems, especially on the capabilities of our clearing firm.
JW Cole Advisors conducts business in equity and fixed income securities, mutual funds, 529 College Savings Plans, variable annuities and variable life insurance. Our firm is an introducing firm and does not perform any type of clearing function for itself or others. Furthermore, we do not hold customer funds or securities. We accept and enter orders. All transactions are either sent directly to packaged product vendors or are sent to National Financial Services, LLC (NFS). NFS executes our orders, compares them, allocates them, clears and settles them. NFS also maintains our customers’ accounts, can grant customers access to them, and delivers funds and securities. Our firm services only retail customers.
Alternative Physical Location
JW Cole Advisors has two primary offices in Tampa, FL and Carlsbad, CA (near San Diego). In the event of an SBD that necessitates evacuation, JW Cole Advisors will move its staff from any affected offices to another unaffected facility. In the event of the incapacity of either facility, JW Cole will move its staff to the closest unaffected office location.
Processing Transactions during an SBD
In the event of a SBD, you will be contacted by your representative or one of JW Cole Advisors managers with instructions for processing your funds and securities transactions. In the event that you are unable to contact your representative, you may visit our web site at www.jw-cole.com or telephone at (813) 935-6776.
If you are unable to contact JW Cole Advisors, and your account is carried by NFS, you may call the NFS Customer Service Line at (617) 563-5977 to receive instructions from NFS as to how to access funds and securities. In the event of an internal SBD, for business in mutual funds, 529 College Savings Plans, and variable annuities and life insurance where transactions are processed by application and forwarded to a packaged product vendor, transactions will be processed in the normal manner from an alternate location of JW Cole Advisors.
In the event of an external SBD effecting mutual funds, 529 College Savings Plans, and variable annuities and life insurance, application-way transactions will not be accepted or transmitted without assurance that the vendor has recovered and resumed its operations.
Customers’ Access to Funds and Securities
JW Cole Advisors does not maintain custody of customers’ funds or securities. Customer funds and securities are held by NFS. In the event of an internal or external SBD, if telephone service is available, our registered persons will take customer orders or instructions and contact NFS. If our Internet access is available, our firm will post on our Web site whom customers may contact to access their funds and securities. JW Cole Advisors will make this information available to customers at account opening through its regular disclosure routine.
If SIPC determines that we are unable to meet our obligations due to an unforeseen disaster, and our liabilities exceed our assets in violation of Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1, SIPC may seek to appoint a trustee to disburse our assets to customers. We will assist SIPC and the trustee by providing our books and records identifying customer accounts subject to SIPC regulation.
Back Up Facilities and Arrangements
JW Cole Advisors maintains its primary hard copy books and records at 4301 Anchor Plaza Parkway, Suite 450, Tampa, FL 33634 All JW Cole Advisors forms and representative files are maintained in the same location and updated periodically and distributed to all registered JW Cole Advisors representatives. JW Cole Advisors maintains duplicate electronic records at an off-site Internet based location. In the event of an SBD, JW Cole Advisors expects to recover and resume its internal business operations within one business day of an internal SBD. External SBD's are dependent upon the ability of the packaged-product vendors and NFS to recover and resume operations.
The processing of application-way transactions is dependent on delivery to the packaged product vendors and the availability of the vendors to accept transactions. The majority of vendors doing business with JW Cole Advisors are sizeable and regulated financial institutions with the capacity to recover and resume processing transactions within a short period of time. JW Cole Advisors will cease recommending products of vendors who are unable to recover and resume promptly.
NFS maintains a business continuity plan and the capacity to execute that plan. NFS has represented that it will advise JW Cole Advisors, of any material changes to its plan that might affect JW Cole Advisors' ability to maintain its business. In the event NFS executes its plan, it represents that it will notify JW Cole Advisors of such execution and provide JW Cole Advisors equal access to services. If JW Cole Advisors reasonably determines that NFS has not or cannot put its plan in place quickly enough to meet JW Cole Advisors needs, or is otherwise unable to provide access to such services, NFS will assist JW Cole Advisors in seeking services from an alternative source.
NFS represents that it backs up our records at a remote site and operates a back-up operating facility in a geographically separate area with the capability to conduct the same volume of business as its primary site. NFS has confirmed to JW Cole Advisors the effectiveness of its back-up arrangements to recover from a wide scale disruption, by testing. It has confirmed that it tests its back-up arrangements every six months.
Recovery-time objectives provide concrete goals to plan for and test against. They are not, however, hard and fast deadlines that must be met in every emergency situation, and various external factors surrounding a disruption, such as time of day, scope of disruption, and status of critical infrastructure—particularly telecommunications—can affect actual recovery times. Recovery refers to the restoration of clearing and settlement activities after a wide-scale disruption; resumption refers to the capacity to accept and process new transactions and payments after a wide-scale disruption. NFS has represented to JW Cole Advisors that its recovery time objective for business resumption, including those involving a relocation of personnel or technology, is one (1) hour. NFS estimates resumption time to be within 48 hours.