No shell game
Henrico consulting firm has big growth plans
Despite the challenging economic climate, a Henrico-based financial services consulting firm is moving forward with aggressive expansion plans.
With the addition of two new financial executives and an upgraded office space, Oyster Consulting is focused on assisting its clients with efficiency and business growth. The firm takes financial services firms under its wing to nurture business growth by providing audit, compliance, financial, operational and technology consulting.
Oyster assists broker/dealers, investment advisors, hedge funds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and private equity firms to create “simplicity in a complex environment,” according to managing director and founder Buddy Doyle.
Doyle is confident that Oyster will be able to maintain both its high quality and service as it expands.
“We have built a company specifically designed to achieve these satisfaction levels, because we believe they are the foundation of lasting, meaningful strength,” Doyle said. “We want to be a consistently profitable organization that develops a loyal client and employee base through the integrity of our associates and the quality and value of our advice and tools.”
Doyle, Patrick Dennis and Rob Hall founded the firm in October 2008. The trio previously worked with Wachovia Securities, but after that company purchased AG Edwards and moved its headquarters from Richmond to St. Louis, Doyle, Hall and Dennis gravitated toward a different ambition.
“While we started out as a compliance-consulting firm based on our backgrounds, we had the vision of creating a firm that comprehensively supports wealth management firms,” Doyle said. “Since then, we’ve attracted the highest quality consultants: both former Wachovia Securities colleagues and professionals from other firms.”
Currently, Oyster Consulting employs 35 consultants located in Richmond, Charlotte, the Washington, D.C. area, New York, Pennsylvania and Oregon.
In addition to adding training resources, relationship management and a sales force, Oyster Consulting also relocated recently to Innsbrook. Its 8,000 square feet of space will allow the team to accommodate more employees. In fact, during the next 12 months, Doyle expects the firm to surpass the 100-employee level.
“While some folks think we are experiencing pretty rapid growth, we feel as though we are just adding the resources we need to get going,” he said. “We are looking for exponential growth and our plan looks at the right time to add to marketing, sales, support, training and technology to support that growth.”
The two newest members to join the Oyster team, Paul F. Costello and Ann M. Griffith, were chosen for their experience in the financial industry and their leadership skills. Costello will handle strategic consulting and business development support, while Griffith will oversee regulatory compliance implementation and testing.
Griffith’s experience comes from serving 20 years as a director and in-house counsel at World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Credit Suisse Securities. Costello brings Oyster more than 30 years of leadership experience from his past positions as president and CEO of the First Variable Life Insurance Company; president of Mentor Family of Mutual Funds; president and CEO of First Clearing LLC; president of Business Services Group; COO, Wachovia Securities; and founding principal of Onyx Associates, LLC.
The firm’s consultants believe that its depth and breadth of services add value to its clients, Doyle said.
“You see a very diverse background from within wealth management. All come together as a team with over five centuries of combined experience to help our clients protect their firms, create efficiency and focus on growing their business,” he said. “Oyster is a boutique consulting firm that combines the sophistication, knowledge and experience of a big firm with the flexibility, service and costs of an entrepreneur.”
The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.
The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)
The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.
For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.
The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.
The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.
Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.
Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.
‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise
Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.
They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.
As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.
Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.
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