DiscoverOyster Stew - A Broth of Financial Services Commentary and Insights
Oyster Stew - A Broth of Financial Services Commentary and Insights
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Oyster Stew - A Broth of Financial Services Commentary and Insights

Author: Oyster Consulting

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We try to take a look at industry news and give you the highlights for Compliance, Operations and Strategy Departments and Associates.
51 Episodes
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Join Oyster Consulting's Jeffrey Hiller in his new podcast mini-series, CCO - Behind the Scenes, as he shares his vast experience as both a CCO for several global investment firms and Senior Counsel for the SEC's Division of Enforcement. Being CCO is more than just checking boxes. There are office politics to navigate, nuances to dealing with regulators and board members, and of course, ethical issues. Listen and learn in these short discussions as Jeffrey shares his real experiences and lessons learned from his decades in the industry. Some things you just won't get from a textbook, such as repeat violations and how and when to escalate issues successfully.
Join Oyster Consulting's Jeffrey Hiller in his new podcast mini-series, CCO - Behind the Scenes, as he shares his vast experience as both a CCO for several global investment firms and Senior Counsel for the SEC's Division of Enforcement. Jeffrey literally helped write the book on modern regulatory compliance. Being CCO is more than just checking boxes. There are office politics to navigate, nuances to dealing with regulators and board members, and of course, ethical issues. Listen and learn in these short discussions as Jeffrey shares his real experiences and lessons learned from his decades in the industry. Some things you just won't get from a textbook, such as cultivating the "tone at the top," document production during an exam, escalation, dealing successfully with Boards, and repeat violations, to name a few. 
Oyster industry leaders discuss what firm executives and decision makers should be focusing on in today's volatile and changing business environment.  Topics include: improving your bottom line updating and improving your planning services to meet client needs, risk levels and employment challengesmanaging your cybersecurity and third party vendors in a pandemic worldvendor support controls, testing and disclosures   
The pandemic has changed how firms operate, and regulators have had to change their examination practices to accommodate remote offices and staff.  In this episode, Oyster Managing Director Ed Wegener, who was a former SVP and Midwest Regional Director of FINRA, shares his insider views on:the changes in the regulator's examination programthe kind of the people that are doing examinationswhat firms should expect when an examiner walks in now 
For financial services firms registered with regulatory bodies, regulatory exams have instilled the gamut of emotions from annoyance to anxiety, to outright fear. Fortunately, much of this could be mitigated with a better understanding of the exam process, the necessity for robust risk assessments, and by nurturing the firm's relationship with it's regulatory contact.  This week's episode features Oyster Managing Director Ed Wegener, formerly a SVP and Midwest Regional Director of FINRA discussing risk assessments and how FINRA is using those assessments to help determine the scope, depth, breadth and frequency of their examinations of broker-dealers. 
As advisors build out their financial planning business, they gather a lot of data and over the years, the strategy of the firm can change. That may mean it's a good time to change from a software application that's more cash flow to one that's more goal-oriented, or vice versa.  As a follow-up to last week's high-level overview of the software selection process, Bill Davis offers the best approaches for advisors to take when selecting and implementing retirement plan software.  
Firms are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line, and updating or upgrading their software is one of them. But where to begin? How do you know if it will work for your firm? What will the implementation look like? What about hidden costs?  In this week's episode Polly Cordle, Managing Director of Oyster Solutions Software, offers some tips and tricks on what to look for when you are considering new software. 
Trying to resolve issues and improve operational efficiency by aligning people and technology can lead to unexpected problems and mixed results. Whether your firm leadership wants to evaluate how the firm is running, the firm has recently undergone a merger or acquisition or is experiencing errors, losses or attrition, an Operational Assessment can increase efficiency, save your firm time and even improve your internal and external client and corporate experience.  ​In this episode, Oyster Associate Director MJ Phillips discusses a variety of operational issues that can be uncovered during a merger, acquisition or transformation, and how outsourcing an operations specialist to preform an operational assessment can help resolve the issues to make firms more efficient and enhance their client service. 
Regulators expect both offsite and onsite monitoring of offices and employees due to the heightened risk inherent in remote arrangements. The work-at-home orders issued by the States in response to the pandemic have created supervision challenges for firms.  While some consider the present state the “new normal,” no one really knows how and when this will all progress.In this week's podcast, Oyster CEO Buddy Doyle, General Counsel Patrick M. Dennis and Managing Directors Polly Cordle and Jeffrey Hiller discuss remote supervision, and what that means in the current pandemic workplace, as well as some general best practices firms should consider. Topics include email review, trade surveillance, central supervision processes, training and roll-out, and remote supervision tactics.To learn more, read our recent blog "Remote Supervision in the Pandemic World," or you can schedule a complimentary consultation by calling  (804) 965-5400 or clicking here.
When markets are volatile, history has shown us that there is often an increase in securities litigation,  In this episode, Oyster's General Counsel Patrick M. Dennis and Director Evan Rosser talk about past litigation trends in volatile markets and what they see coming as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the national economy and individual investments. You can learn more from our May 13, 2020 blog "Increases Expected in Pandemic-Related Securities Litigation." 
As firms begin to adjust to the "new normal," which for many means staff and clients working remotely for an indefinite amount of time, it's important to not lose sight of all the moving parts. Compliance is one of those, and now is a good time to look at your program and test it against how your firm is functioning in this new environment. Do your policies and procedures match up with how you are doing things now? In this episode, Oyster CEO Buddy Doyle, Managing Director Polly Cordle and Relationship Managers Molly Bryson and Gena Spitzer address several things firms should be reviewing, including email surveillance, marketing and advertising, policies and procedures, your compliance calendar and how you will test these things remotely.  
The Consolidated Audit trail (CAT) is moving forward and the SEC has released new exemptive relief dates for parts 2a (Equity reporting) and 2b (Options reporting).  The SEC has also provided exemptive relief for introducing brokers. In this episode, Oyster Consultants Ralph Magee and Jeff Call discuss what firms should be doing around certifications, linkages, testing validation and the upcoming options reporting deadlines.  Oyster also has a new software application to validate firms' CAT reporting. Learn more about that in this episode, or by clicking here.  
As more and more people are turning to Investment Advisors and Financial Planners for help managing their money, advisors and planners are looking for ways to better serve their new and existing clients and continue to grow their business.  Oyster Director Bill Davis explains how Oyster's new Advisory Planning Services help Advisors and Financial Planners improve their efficiency, assess, select and implement software, and better understand their clients' wants and needs.   *Oyster Consulting does not act as an Investment Advisor, Broker-Dealer or Financial Planner. These services are for financial institutions and Advisors.  
In this episode Oyster CEO Buddy Doyle and Managing Director Polly Cordle discuss best practices for conducting broker-dealer and investment advisor annual reviews. Topics include testing your compliance program, including reviewing your compliance calendar to maximize the use of your time and resources, new products, system implementations and taking into account what's different in today's environment. Buddy and Polly also discuss how Oyster Solutions software can make producing your annual review a much more efficient process.  Oyster Solutions is one “solution” for many systems: A system to track various workflows and processes across multiple departments.Advertising submission tracking including teaching your employees how to submit “compliant” piecesA system that produces metrics and reporting dashboards for management to assess progressTrade monitoring and best interest alert system to advise when portfolios fall out of lineSystem(s) for tracking employee attestations and training throughout the calendar yearA system to keep in line policies with procedures and ensure one doesn’t exist without the other 
Oyster Consulting CFO Robert Hall and Consultants Jeff Harpel and Clark Tucker discuss FINRA's Exam Priorities from a FINOP perspective, and what the impacts COVID 19 could have on FINOP procedures and Business Continuity Plans.For more information about how Oyster can help your firm with FINOP support or Business Continuity Planning, complete this form and one of our Relationship Mangers will contact you. 
In this episode, Oyster Consultant Ralph Magee and Devyze CEO Jeff Call discuss what the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) is and its purpose, what is happening in the industry from a reporting standpoint, where we are with the CAT today and what firms should be doing.   Oyster can help you assess how your firm is positioned for CAT readiness, manage your requirements assessment and implementation phases, interface with your own technology providers, and assist you in determining what and how your technology providers will report for you. We can also assist in testing data scenarios and data linkage, as well as creating an error repair process. Firms can also leverage Oyster testing tools to gather and analyze reported data and errors.
This week's episode features Oyster CEO Buddy Doyle and Polly Cordle, Managing Director of Oyster Solutions Software, discussing the importance of risk assessments, especially in today's volatile financial situation.  Included are best practices for creating and maintaining risk assessments, regulatory reporting around risk, and how Oyster Solutions Software makes maintaining and reporting risk assessments easy.  
Transitioning your platform can be a vital component of making sure your firm is successful for many years to come. Managing your firm’s platform transition is a significant undertaking that will impact most areas of your business. Investing in a third party to make sure the disruptions are minimized while the planning, execution, testing and change management are being done concurrently can be a good strategy to free up firm resources.In this podcast episode, Managing Director Pete McAteer discusses why outsourcing makes sense, and how Oyster Consulting is uniquely positioned to help.  
 In light of the evolving progression of the COVID-19 virus, today's podcast discusses what firms should be considering when it comes to their Business Continuity Plan.  Are you ready to provide the critical services to your clients if you must close your business during a quarantine?  What if 20% of your employees can telecommute, but are sick? There are no boiler plate approaches to business continuity planning that will work like one designed for your business.  So, spend some time soon reviewing your plan.  Ask yourself if it will work or not and amend it, as necessary.  And if you want to be truly ready, practice it.   
The analysis to decide if it’s best to invest in your current platform or consider a different path should not be ignored or pushed too far into the future. One of the most meaningful relationships any introducing broker-dealer has is with its clearing provider. In this week's episode, Managing Director Pete McAteer discusses what you should do after you've identified any gaps in your clearing platform needs, including a discussion of the selection and implementation processes. 
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