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She promotes the firm as its clients’ personal CFO

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Cynthia Joyce suggested the firm’s current name to emphasize its
nimbleness in serving clients. Photo by Caroline Martin

There are never enough hours in the day for Cindy Joyce.

Finding time for all the projects she wants to take on is her biggest challenge, says Agili’s CFO and chief operating officer. “I am a pleaser, so I want to make sure everyone is happy.”

Joyce joined the financial planning and investment firm, then called JoycePayne Partners, in 2005 after working for Union Pacific.

She works alongside her husband, Michael, who is president of Agili. “It doesn’t work for all married couples, but it works for us,” she says.

During the past 14 years, she’s made major contributions that have changed not only the company’s name but also its customer focus.

Joyce suggested adopting the name Agili — derived from agility — because she wanted “the company to be nimble for all of our clients,” she says.

In celebration of the firm’s 25th anniversary, she advocated focusing on the concept of serving Agili’s clients as their personal CFO.

“We do personalized and customized planning,” she says. “The firm has always done that, but not from a marketing standpoint. When we started thinking about what we do for each client, it became apparent this is what we really do. Our clients are busy people, so they totally understand and appreciate us being their personal CFO.”

Joyce enjoys handling the variety of projects that fall under her purview. Her responsibilities range from lease negotiation to making sure the company is financially successful. “Every day is a full plate, but it’s never the same,” she says.

Joyce is focused on “operational excellence,” says Sydney Petty of SFP Consulting in Richmond. “The breadth of her business experience and the depth of her heart make her a positive force.” 

To ensure Agili stays abreast of best practices and industry developments, Joyce regularly consults with the CFOs of 20 peer firms around the country that are part of Group 2020. “If I come up with a challenge, I use them as a sounding board. It’s a safe space, an area of trust,” she says. “We work as each other’s mentors even though we are competitors.”

As part of her duties, Joyce develops the theme and agenda for the  annual retreat for the firm’s 24 employees in Richmond and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She also confirms the speakers and organizes team-building exercises for the retreat, which sets the tone for the upcoming year and focuses the team on specific goals.

“I love it,” she says of the planning process. “We always have a surprise event that no one knows about but me. We’ve done everything from an escape room to a scavenger hunt. It’s a team-building event.”

One of her proudest achievements is the creation of an internal annual employee survey that encourages honest feedback. “We get a third party to read the results of the survey,” she says. “Our clients are happy because we have a fantastic team. I can’t be naïve or complacent about that. I always have to be listening to and learning from our team.”

Joyce also leads a group focused on internal process improvement, which she credits with substantially increasing the efficiency of client services.

She became interested in accounting in high school. “I was good with numbers and I always liked math. It came naturally,” says Joyce, a University of Denver alumna who holds an MBA from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Outside of work, the mother of three has been involved with Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) for the past 21 years.

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