Introducing Oyster Solutions
Comprehensive compliance software that helps you assess and manage risk, then automate compliance so you can sleep better at night. Oyster Solutions allows you to:
Our Risk Assessment allows you to inventory not only risks but conflicts and document your mitigating controls and how they are tested. The accompanying Dashboard provides a visual to compare risks, conflicts, and mitigations to easily identify areas needing attention. Bringing multiple processes into one system allows not only Compliance but other departments to work together. Solutions is designed to support every aspect and every level of your organization. Small and large firms benefit from the approach of achieving operational efficiency through a well-designed platform that has built-in governance, risk, and compliance.
Annual ADV Review
Annual Compliance Review
Business Continuity Review
Best Execution Testing
Cybersecurity Program Review
Outside Activity Review
Political Contribution Report
Pre Hire Review
Recordkeeping Annual Review
Risk Assessment Review
Solicitor Due Diligence
Solutions allows you to organize and automate your firm’s processes by configuring workflows for the way you do business. We work with you to build a series of Workflows and Tasks designed to enforce the processes you outline in your policies. Wherever possible, we schedule those Workflows to launch automatically. The compliance calendar then moves those tasks through the approval process with ease and provides a place for organized, accessible, WORM compliant storage of documents. This approach gives you the power to define the most efficient procedures based on your organization’s structure and risk tolerance, all while fully achieving compliance.
We thoroughly assess your entire Compliance Program from top to bottom, taking a look at your policies, your procedures, your forms, your checklists, your attestations, and any other documentation you provide. We offer valuable advice from experienced industry professionals to help you create the best Compliance Program for your firm. Through a roles-based system, you can limit who sees what so one system can house everything, including detailed desk procedures, supervisory procedures, control procedures, and testing procedures.
Access Person Quarterly Attestation
Annual Holdings Reporting
Annual ADV and Privacy Mailing
Annual Outside Activity Attestation
Bad Actor CertificationCEO Certification
Electronic Storage Filing
Employee Account Activity Review
Gift Log Reporting and Review
Marketing Approval Request
New Hire Onboarding
New Offering Review
New Policy Attestation
Annual Registration Renewals
Restricted List Request
Solutions offers standard and customized reports that provide real-time data based on what needs to be done, who is doing it, when it is scheduled and when it is completed. Using Solutions as designed puts all of your regulatory exam responses in one place, rather than many. The system offers Dashboards that allow not only a bird’s eye view of how the program is progressing (upcoming, on-time, and past due tasks) but also a look into how your resources are being applied so you can make the most effective use of the people on your staff.
13F Filing for the Quarter
Client Account Review
Information Security Breach Report
Terminated Account Tracking
Terminated Employee Filing
Trade Blotter Review
With over 100 scripted workflows, Oyster Solutions makes it easy to set-up and automate compliance tasks.
“All comments were POSITIVE, so hat’s off to you and the Solutions team – onward and upward – let’s keep making it even better this next year!”
“I believe Oyster Solutions will take the compliance program to the next level and provide me as CCO with time to focus on developing more strategic goals for the program and better serve my internal clients.”
“Having a centralized location for reporting and record keeping will increase accountability for all users. This is an exciting time for our firm and having Oyster Solutions will enhance our readiness for both internal and external examinations/inspections.”
The Solutions system is built on the premise that many firms can get out of sync between their policies and what they actually do. This is a risk we have often seen with our clients and in our experience as we sat at the actual desks in past firms. The software implementation is designed to identify a firm’s procedures and put a workflow in place to enforce each one. It manages a Compliance Calendar and Attestations, as well as Tracking and Evidencing of all of the processes. It also manages what we call “ad hoc” requests – those requests that are not regularly scheduled (for example marketing and advertising or outside activity approvals). It tracks all review and approval of these requests and provides logs of the approvals/rejections of such activities.
Yes, the system is fully Write Once Read Many (WORM) compliant and available for use as a Books and Records location. In fact, we encourage our clients to store as much of their documentation on the system as possible to keep all Compliance related information in one, easily searchable location. We teach clients tips and tricks to make searching and using the system for storage of records easy, so when an audit comes all of the items needed are right at their fingertips.
Yes, the system is housed on Amazon Web Services (AWS) but is also backed up regularly to secure network systems. We recommend clients use the web-based platform in order to easily receive the most up-to-date enhancements at no additional cost. However, there is also an option for clients to house the system on their own network.
Yes, the system is mobile accessible. This allows our clients to use Workflows and approve activities while away from their computers, a feature we consider essential in today’s advancing technology landscape.
Yes. To get the most out of the Solutions system, every employee should have a login to the system. The software is designed to interact not only with Compliance but with all departments and all levels of a firm. Limiting logins to the system with the intention of cost savings severely limits a firm’s ability to get efficiency out of the system and can actually end up costing more in the long run.
Oyster Solutions offers both an email address and a hotline for support issues. Most issues can be resolved by calling the hotline or sending an email. More complex issues may be escalated for additional review.
Oyster Solution is a joint venture between Oyster Consulting, LLC and Devyze, LLC, our technology partner. While many software systems are developed by a technology firm and compliance consultants are brought in to advise on the project, we took a different approach and designed a system based on user needs and experience.
Oyster Solutions you not only get a customizable software package able to handle your Compliance and other process and policy needs, but you also get the expertise that comes from working with experienced industry practitioners, people who have sat in your seat and understand your needs and concerns as well as the challenges you face every day.
Yes. We have clients who are happy to talk to you about their experience using the product and about the process of implementation.
Depending on the firm and the complexities of the workflows put in place, we generally say an implementation takes 6-8 weeks. Some of our implementations can take a longer or shorter amount of time, so we don’t like to put a number on a process we believe is unique to every client.
If a firm is new and does not have policies of their own to implement, the process includes drafting and customizing policies to fit the unique business model and processes of the firm. For many of our clients, though, they already have policies in place. It is our belief that they should continue to run their Compliance Program, not one we prescribe for them. In those cases, we review every word and evaluate the existing policies. We identify each task, no matter how small, required by the policies. We also identify questions that might include potential misstatements, possible omissions, or inconsistencies. All of these items are then reviewed with the firm. We offer clients a menu of existing workflows they can choose to put in place, or we can custom build workflows to suit their needs. For many of our clients, we then offer to conduct testing of their current procedures and issue their annual review report for the current year or return in the coming year.
Just like the Compliance Program of a firm, we believe training is a unique experience for each firm and no two firms thrive on the same experience. We customize our training approach for each firm. We offer web training, conference calls, written documentation and onsite training – whatever best suits the needs of the client. For most firms the Compliance Contact will participate in regular meetings with Solutions Staff until the entire Compliance Calendar has been run at least once. We find most calendars run on a quarterly cycle, with one or two Workflows that occur annually. So, we meet regularly during the first quarter after the system “launches” and walk through each Workflow manually before we allow them to launch automatically. This allows our clients to see the system in practice before they are off on their own. After that first quarter, they can always contact our Support Hotline for assistance with any questions or concerns.
Yes, the system has been used by firms as they have been through audits and has performed well under regulatory review. In fact, in our experience, an examiner being able to show an item on the calendar schedule can assist in eliminating a finding from the issue list, even if the procedure is not clearly spelled out in the procedures of the firm.
Our basic package includes the Planner and Govern modules, which house your Compliance Calendar, Policies and the Workflows to enforce these as well as any other customized Workflows your firm may wish to implement. As enhancements are added to these two features of the software, they are automatically incorporated if you use our web-based platform at no cost and can be periodically incorporated if you choose to house the software on your own network.
No. We may add optional features such as the CAT tool or Monitor platform. Enhancements made to the modules you subscribe to are included in your subscription. We do not ask that you pay for those updates.
Yes, our staff takes information security very seriously. In addition to a roles-based system allowing access to information within the software based only on how a firm sets up each individual user, we also offer additional security features such as single sign on and dual authentication. While it makes receiving updates to the system more challenging, firms can also choose to house the software on their own network systems if their security protocols require it.
The Monitor Platform is an add-on module that is currently in the testing phase. Monitor provides multiple applications that can be helpful for any firm:
- An alert-based monitoring system for employee and client trading accounts that will flag unusual or “red flag” activity within an account for review at a supervisory level.
- The ability to bring multiple platforms/custodians/business units (in this case multiple entities) together under one umbrella for management reporting and tracking of assets, transactions, and regulatory reporting.
- A system that tracks not only brokerage licensing when needed, but also tracks insurance licensing across individuals and states (matching required licenses and continuing education requirements versus the fifty different states and their varying requirements). This functionality would be available across both insurance companies and states.
The CAT Tool was designed to monitor and analyze trading data reported to the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) as required by FINRA. The tool currently provides clients a centralized application to ingest CAT reports for multiple CAT Reporting Agents (CRAs). These reports include the CAT submission file, the ingestion file and any applicable error file, providing clients a comprehensive view of their CAT reporting. The analytics suite includes Equity and Option CAT reporting event breakdown and statistics as well as customizable reports and dashboard views. The CAT tool will continue to be enhanced to comply with the regulatory phased-in approach outlined by FINRA and is currently under development to include error repair capabilities.
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