Oyster Stew

The financial services industry is rapidly changing. Each week our consultants share their thoughts on regulatory news and industry hot topics. Our insights are gained through our experiences as successful industry practitioners and from working with hundreds of clients. Whether you are an executive trying to stay ahead of the curve or are new to the industry and want to learn more, this is the podcast for you.

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Episode 12                         March 25, 2020              Risk Assessments:  keeping Your Firm Focused

Understanding the risk of your organization is the key prioritizing your controls. A comprehensive risk assessment will help determine how and when to implement the processes that prevent or detect risk. A formal risk assessment allows for the compliance and supervision efforts to be more targeted to the higher-risk issues, protecting the firm as well as the investors.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.


Episode 11                       March 18, 2020
Why Outsourcing Your Clearing Platform Assessment, Selection and Implementation Processes Makes Sense

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.

Episode 10                      March 12, 2020               COVID 19  and Your Business Continuity Plan

In light of the evolving progression of the COVID-19 virus, this 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? An effective business continuity plan (BCP) is vital to make sure your firm can provide core services during a crisis. It is not just a regulatory requirement, but an important part of protecting your business and maintaining customer loyalty. Too often, firms take a technology-based approach to business continuity planning, rather than determining how to provide the important services to clients during different scenarios.

Episode 9                        March 4, 2020                 Clearing Platform Selection and Implementation

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 episode, Managing Director Pete McAteer discusses what you should do after you’ve identified any gaps in your clearing platform needs.

Episode 8                        February 27, 2020         Should You Be Assessing Your Clearing Firm Platform?

Are you getting the most out of your clearing partner? Are your costs where they should be?  Are you looking to improve your service, technology and financial position?   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 when and why you should  be evaluating your clearing platform, and things to consider.

Episode 7                         February 19, 2020          2020 SEC & FINRA Exam Priorities, Part 3

This episode is Part 3 in a series discussing the SEC and FINRA 2020 Exam Priorities Letters.  Oyster Consulting CEO Buddy Doyle, Director Evan Rosser and Senior Consultant Joe Turner talk about  what’s new, particularly around Technology, Cybersecurity, Business Continuity Plans and Cash Management / Bank Sweeps.

Episode 6                         February 12, 2020          2020 SEC & FINRA Exam Priorities, Part 2

In case you’re wondering what the regulators will be focusing on this year, they are kind enough to let you know when they publish their annual Exam Priorities Letters. This episode is Part 2 in a series discussing the SEC and FINRA 2020 Exam Priorities Letters.  Oyster Consulting CEO Buddy Doyle, Director Evan Rosser and Senior Consultant Joe Turner talk about Market Access and Best Execution requirements.


Episode 5                         February 6, 2020             2020 SEC & FINRA Exam Priorities Letters – Part 1
In case you’re wondering what the regulators will be focusing on this year, they are kind enough to let you know when they publish their annual Exam Priorities Letters. This episode is Part 1 in a series discussing the SEC and FINRA 2020 Exam Priorities Letters.  Oyster Consulting CEO Buddy Doyle, Director Evan Rosser and Senior Consultant Joe Turner talk about what’s new, particularly around Reg BI and Form CRS requirements.


Episode 4                        January 29, 2020             Reg BI – What’s Required in Form CRS
As you complete your Form ADV, completing the Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) Form CRS should also be on your list of things to do.  In this week’s episode, Oyster Senior Consultant Bob Tuch and Oyster Solutions Managing Director Polly Cordle discuss what’s required and how Oyster Solutions is helping our clients make the task of completing Form CRS easier.


Episode 3                      January 22, 2020
The NIST Privacy Framework: – What It Is and What Your Firm Should Be Doing

NIST published in January 2020 it’s Privacy Framework, “a voluntary tool developed in collaboration with stakeholders intended to help organizations identify and manage privacy risk to build innovative products and services while protecting individuals’ privacy.”  In this podcast episode, Oyster Consulting Tim Buckler explains what the Privacy Framework is, why you should implement it, and what is involved. Learn more about Oyster’s Cybersecurity Services here.


Episode 2                      January 15, 2020
Oyster Solutions Software – Making Your Annual Compliance Calendar and Review More Efficient and Effective

In this episode, Managing Director Polly Cordle and Consultant Gray Houghton share how Oyster Solutions Software can make your Annual Compliance Calendar and Review processes easier and more efficient using workflows and automated reporting.

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” pieces
  • A system that produces metrics and reporting dashboards for management to assess progress
  • Trade monitoring and best interest alert system to advise when portfolios fall out of line
  • System(s) for tracking employee attestations and training throughout the calendar year
  • A system to keep in line policies with procedures and ensure one doesn’t exist without the other


Episode 1                      January 8, 2020                 When Does outsourcing Your CCO Role Make Sense? 
Deciding whether or not to outsource the Chief Compliance Officer role is an important decision. In this episode, Nikki Brinkerhoff and Oyster Consulting Director Dean Pelos discuss things you should consider when making this decision, including resource availability, experience, and interaction with regulators.   


Episode 10                    December 18, 2019           ‘Twas the Night Before the Exam
Enjoy our holiday take on the popular ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem as our fictional CCO realizes the benefits of hiring Oyster Consulting to assist with his regulatory exam.

Episode 9                      December 11, 2019            Should You Outsource Your FinOP Position? 
If you are having trouble keeping up with your FinOP reporting, worried about making mistakes, or are a newly-licensed FinOP but need more experience, outsourcing the job, even temporarily, may be the answer. This week Oyster Founder and CFO Rob Hall and FinOP Consultants Jeff Harpel and Clark Tucker talk about what an outsourced FinOP  can do for your firm and common mistakes FinOPs make.

Episode 8                      December 4, 2019               Effective Expert Witnesses
Oyster Consulting General Counsel Patrick M. Dennis and Independent Consultant Andy Favret discuss what makes an effective Expert Witness, as well as the typical industry cases they have participated in as an expert witness. 

Episode 7                     November 15, 2019               Mad Men Era Advertising Rule Changes Proposed
The SEC Advertising Rule hasn’t been amended since 1961 – a time before widespread use of desktop computers, cell phones, social media or even websites.  This episode, Part 1 of 2, discusses the proposed changes in detail and what firms should be thinking about when assessing their advertising materials.

Episode 6                    November 6, 2019                 Reg BI – The Compliance Obligation
Oyster CEO Buddy Doyle, General Counsel Patrick M. Dennis and Managing Director Polly Cordle discuss the Reg BI Compliance Obligation and the core things firms should focus on to fulfill that obligation, including: Products, Advertising & Marketing and Training.

Episode 5                  October 30, 2019                      Reg BI – The Disclosure Obligation
Oyster Managing Director Polly Cordle, Associate Director Nikki Brinkerhoff and Senior Consultant Lance Whittemore discuss the Regulation Best Interest Disclosure Obligation – what it means for broker-dealers, advisors and dual registrants. Topics also include disclosure and conflict examples, as well as Form CRS requirements.

Episode 4                   October 23, 2019                      Reg BI – The Care Obligation
In this episode, Oyster Consultants Bob Tuch and Joe Sisti, along with Oyster’s General Counsel Patrick M. Dennis, discuss the Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) Care Obligation.   Bob and Joe touch on factors to consider when making recommendations, “reasonable available alternatives,” account selection and rollover recommendations.=

Episode 3                   October 16, 2019                       Reg BI – The Conflicts of Interest Obligation
This episode discusses the Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) Conflicts of Interest Obligation, including: identifying and assessing conflicts; disclosure, mitigation, elimination and monitoring; new product review around conflicts; escalating conflicts; conflict surveillance; and, disclosure reviews.

Episode 2                   October 9, 2019                         Reg BI – It’s a Bigger Deal Than You Might Think
(Recorded October 3, 2019) Reg BI is a bigger deal than you might think, and the implementation deadline is only 9 months away. This episode presents an overview of the four Obligations of Reg BI and what firms need to be doing.  Reg BI will affect many, many aspects of a firm’s policies and operations, from marketing and advertising to compensation, recommendations and communications, to name a few. Patrick gives an update on what regulators and industry members are saying, and touches on the complexity of Form CRS.  Polly discusses what Oyster Solutions, our governance, risk and compliance software, is doing to help our clients be ready for Reg BI.

Episode 1                    June 10, 2019                            Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI)  – Now in Play
With the passing of Reg BI last week, this week is all about it!!