Corrections or additions?
These articles by Emily Heine and Catherine Moscarello were
prepared for the October 4, 2000 edition of
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Look Out for GLOB
Bankers and financial consultants, take note. By next
July you will need to be even more careful about disclosing your
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, signed by President Clinton last November,
was widely hailed because it repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which
has kept banks, securities firms and insurance companies apart since
Title V of Gramm-Leach-Bliley (irreverently known as GLOB) is another
matter. It adds tough new regulations to protect consumers’ financial
privacy, and these are having a huge impact on the banking community,
says Dennis Casale of Jamieson Moore Peskin & Spicer, the Alexander
Park-based law firm.
"Federal banking agencies have adopted regulations that will
every bank — and every consumer — by July 1, 2001," he
explains. Bankers who are struggling to comply with the nitty-gritty
of Title V can get help from Casale and Leonard A. Bernstein
of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay at a conference sponsored by the New
Bankers Association and the New Jersey League — Community &
Bankers. "Financial Privacy Regulations: How Title V of
Will Affect You" will be held at Forsgate Country Club on
October 5, at 8:30 a.m.. Cost: $150. Call Peggy O’Brien (609-924-5550,
To be discussed: The definition of a "financial institution,"
rules concerning nonpublic personal information, and privacy notices,
including "opt out" notices and exceptions. Also on the
details on state law, enforcement, and penalties.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley, also known as the "financial modernization
act," places far-reaching restrictions on information management
and information-sharing practices among financial institutions.
banks, the regulations apply broadly to savings associations, credit
unions, broker-dealers, investment companies, investment advisers
and insurance companies. They even apply to non-bank financial
that aren’t affiliated with a bank.
The June 1 Federal Register devoted 74 pages to what financial
must do to safeguard customer information and comply with Title V.
It even explained precisely what the act means by "customer"
(a consumer who has a relationship with a bank); "nonpublic
information" (information that can’t easily be obtained from
records, widely distributed media, or disclosures required by law);
and "nonaffiliated third parties" (parties that aren’t paid
by the bank directly or indirectly, e.g., via a bank holding company).
Under Title V all financial institutions must disclose detailed
policies to their customers at the time the account is established
and annually after that. They must tell customers the following:
- The categories of institutions and persons with whom
is being shared.
- Practices for sharing information within a corporate
- Before certain information is shared, financial institutions
must offer consumers the opportunity to opt out of such sharing and
explain how to do so.
In particular, financial institutions cannot disclose an account or
credit card number to a nonaffiliated third party for use in direct
marketing to consumers.
The act also makes it a felony for any person to obtain or attempt
to obtain any customer information from a financial institution by
use of "false, fictitious or fraudulent statements" or
obtained or fictitious documents."
Small wonder that bankers everywhere are hastening to develop an
security program that identifies risks, provides a written plan,
and tests the plan, and provides adjustments as needed.
A policy and a plan aren’t the end of the matter. "Once they have
written their policies on information privacy, banks have to make
sure their practices match them," Casale says. "The policy
may comply perfectly with the new regulations but a division or
can get into trouble by not following it to the letter."
Small slip-ups could mean big trouble for banks next year, but Casale
isn’t worried for them. "Responsible use of private information
is a high priority with banks," he points out. Although they may
need help with details, "most banks are light years ahead of other
businesses in protecting consumers’ private information."
— Emily Heine
Quick! Think of a noun that goes with
Artist, right? But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, says
Gail Cohen, director of the Trenton Arts Connection (E-mail:
TArtsC@ aol.com). Given the formidable task of organizing and
a group of individuals with that one hallmark, individuality, Cohen
maintains that art has to be approached as a business, true to its
own rhythms and structure.
"I have an artist friend who has been struggling on his own for
the past 25 years while making a living from his art," she says.
"He has marked, photographed, journaled, and categorized all of
his works and personally knows all the owners of his art. This is
not just a whimsical attempt at creative expression or a stab at
He is thoroughly committed to his craft."
Further, the Trenton business community can and does look to the arts
to enhance, revitalize, and develop neighborhoods and areas in the
city. Art sells. And a healthy arts community sells the city that
nourishes it. A study of economic impact done by the State Council
on the Arts attests to the fact that investment in the arts creates
reinvestment two to three times the amount of the initial investment.
To help promote this concept, this fall TAC is sponsoring "Arts
Transforming Trenton’s Image," a series of workshops for artists,
arts organizations and developers. The second in the series,
Your Art as a Business," concludes the numerous events making
up Small Business Week on Saturday, October 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Urban Word Cafe, 449 South Broad Street. It is free but
is required by calling 609-695-8155. A cash lunch will be available.
Trying to assess the depth and breadth of the Trenton arts community
is difficult because so many artists involve themselves in so many
different mediums. "It’s a very fragmented group," says Cohen,
"and we’ve only just begun to convince artists of the necessity
of pulling together to achieve our goals. In the past, artists found
themselves competing against one another for funding or political
clout." As a business group, artists are largely overlooked by
marketing agencies that often focus on bigger clients with more
products or services.
One goal of TAC is to give artists technical support in
the business potential of their work." The workshop will show
how to intensify guerrilla marketing, examine legal issues, and
Along with Cohen, presenters for the workshop are Theresa Peelerd,
chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Sports, Entertainment
and Art Law committee; Susan Schear, president of ArtIsIn,
a comprehensive business development and management service for visual
and performing artists; and Barbara Swanda, executive director
of Artworks, a nonprofit, visual arts school and gallery located in
Cohen’s experience with small business development and retention grew
from her role as executive director of Main Street Wildwood Inc.
in close partnership with the business community, she developed a
comprehensive plan for downtown development. Cohen received her BA
in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon and masters from Yale University.
She draws upon an extensive background in the arts as a theater troupe
manager and entrepreneur/publisher. A former real estate professional
and a community activist, she is passionate about the importance of
artists in connection with the economic vitality of the region.
Says Cohen: "Every working person has his own expression of doing
business, whether he’s an artist or not. The artist just uses
tools to make a living."
— Catherine Moscarello
Tracey Syphax, CEO of Capitol City Contracting,
and Mark Feffer, president and publisher of Tramp Steamer Media,
have been named by Douglas H. Palmer, mayor of Trenton, as winners
of the Mayor’s Small Business of the Year Award.
Syphax, CEO of the long-established construction company, serves on
the advisory board for the Minding Your Own Business Program at the
Arthur J. Holland Middle School, is a member of the Metropolitan
African American Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of the
Mercer County Business Association.
Feffer, who founded Tramp Streamer Media in 1997, has had more than
15 years of experience in multi-media products and programs, now
on the board of trustees of Passage Theater Company, and is the
of the Lions Club in Lawrenceville.
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