No shell game

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.”
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Therapeutic healing


In a room labeled the garden room, a bright space with lavender-colored walls and pebble-gray chairs, art therapist Becky Jacobson might ask her patients to imagine a safe place, but she doesn’t ask them to describe it to her — she wants them to draw it.

The patients are free to draw whatever they envision, expressing themselves through their colored markers, a form of healing through art therapy.

“Some people might not feel safe anywhere because they have had hard things happening to them, and I have the background to help that person reground and feel safe in the group,” Jacobson said. > Read more.

Eight’s enough? Crowded race for 56th District develops


Following the retirement of Delegate Peter Farrell [R-56th District], a number of candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to vie for the open seat in the Virginia General Assembly district, which contains a portion of Henrico’s Far West End.

Democratic challengers include Lizzie Basch and Melissa Dart, while Republican contenders include George Goodwin, Matt Pinsker, Graven Craig, Surya Dhakar, Jay Prendergrast and John McGuire. In addition to a section of Henrico, the district also includes portions of Goochland and Spotsylvania County, as well as all of Louisa County. > Read more.

On the trail to Awareness


Twenty-five teams, composed of some 350 participants, gathered at Dorey Park in Varina April 8 for the Walk Like MADD 5k, to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving Virginia. The event raised more than $35,000, with more funds expected to come in through May 7. > Read more.

Leadership Metro Richmond honors St. Joseph’s Villa CEO


Leadership Metro Richmond honored St. Joseph's Villa CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett, a 2003 graduate of LMR, with its 2017 Ukrop Community Vision Award during its annual spring luncheon April 6.

The award honors a LMR member who demonstrates a purposeful vision, a sense of what needs to be done, clear articulation with concern and respect for others with demonstrated action and risk-taking. > Read more.

Glen Allen H.S. takes second in statewide economics competition

Glen Allen H.S. was among six top schools in the state to place in the 2017 Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance.

Taught by Patricia Adams, the Glen Allen H.S. team was runner-up in the Economics division, in which teams faced off in a Quiz Bowl. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

April 2017
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The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will screen NT Live’s broadcast of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at 7 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black), Joshua McGuire (The Hour) and David Haig (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Witness for the Prosecution) star in Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly funny situation comedy, broadcast live from The Old Vic theatre in London. NT Live brings the best of British theatre direct from the stages of London to movie theatres around the world. Tickets are $7 to $14. For details, call 289-8980 or visit http://www.modlin.richmond.edu. Full text

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