Orion Advisor Services CEO Eric Clarke is demonstrating Eclipse, Orion’s next generation trading and rebalancing platform, at the 2017 Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference in Garden Grove, CA. The platform includes numerous new tools and innovations that are sure to please Orion’s user base. It is built upon the Amazon Cloud for scalability and efficiency. With the Amazon Cloud, Orion can add storage capacity as needed. More importantly, it can access computing power as needed. For example, if they need a massive increase in computing power early each morning to recalculate rebalancing and tax loss harvesting opportunities, they can access the power they need, only when they need it.
Orion’s Eclipse allows advisors to customize and automate trade and rebalance parameters at the Household, Account, Sleeve, Asset Category, Sector and Asset Class levels. Eclipse also enables advisors to set up tax loss harvesting requirements specific to a household, as well as increase or decrease tax sensitivity and assess gains.
“With Eclipse’s customization and adaptability, advisors cannot only enhance their service to their clients, but also become more efficient at the same time,” said Clarke. “Technological flexibility is important in an ever-changing and evolving industry and Eclipse’s features empower advisors with advanced tax efficiency capabilities to help maximize client returns.”
Orion’s Eclipse also includes features such as: FIX integration, enabling straight-through trade processing directly with participating custodians; Cash management, monitoring cash requirements in portfolios; Trading dashboards, offering advanced data analytics and automated workflows allowing advisors to see immediately which portfolios need further review.
One powerful new tool at the heart of the system is the actionable dashboard. The Eclipse platform allows advisory firms to create their own database queries (e.g. display all accounts not assigned to a model). The platform then automatically creates a widget representing the query. These widgets can then be arranged on an actionable dashboard.
The widgets are actionable because once they are in place, the advisor can click on them to perform a task. For example, if a widget displays all households that are out of balance, the advisor can click through to see the portfolios to rebalance, and continue drilling down to the trades, if necessary. From there, the trades can be approved and initiated.
For those who are new at creating queries, Orion will initially provide about three dozen popular pre-configured widget. Then based upon their analysis of what their user base is doing with widgets, they will add additional ones. Advisors can use the widgets as is, or modify them as necessary.
An Overview dashboard will show advisors all the areas that require their immediate attention. Other dashboards are designed to help advisors take specific actions. For example, the Portfolios dashboard can display accounts that have received contributions, been the subject of distributions, portfolios that are out of balance, portfolios that offer tax lost harvesting opportunities based upon specified parameters, etc. An accounts dashboard can be configured to display information such as new accounts, accounts subject to systematic investments/withdrawals, etc.
INTELLIGENT REBALANCING CAPABILITIES
The new intelligent rebalancing capabilities are impressive. Eclipse offers granular configuration tools that may be overwhelming to some, so Orion delivers the application with an intelligent set of defaults that can be modified at the global, portfolio, custodian, or account level.
One common error that we see at firms using sophisticated rebalancing tools is that they make mistakes on the initial set-up. As a result, they do not always achieve the level of automation that they should. He Orion defaults should address this issue. The ability to tweak the settings for individual portfolios and accounts allows for mass customization with maximum flexibility.
Another desirable feature is the ability to create an unlimited number of cash buckets, eash with its own specified goal. Portfolios can be tagged to enhance search and sort capabilities. For example, if you tag all portfolios that have a recurring monthly distribution, you can create a query on those accounts, create a widget, and deploy them on a dashboard.
In addition to the rebalancing algorithms, Eclipse offers other trading algorithms. For example, when cash hits an account, you can automate how it is allocated. You could direct Eclipse to distribute the cash pro rata to all asset classes, or you could direct it all to the large cap growth asset class. You can pre-program trading alternatives so that if you harvest losses on one asset, it will automatically buy the alternative. You can also program global swaps of one security for another, or instruct the application to purchase a 5% position in a security for all portfolios, or a specified group of portfolios.
COMMUNITIES AND WORKFLOW CAPABILITIES
Eclipse also has built in workflow capabilities, so that a user can assign an Eclipse task to someone else in the office. According to Clarke, later this year Orion plans to integrate this feature with Orion partners, so, for example those tasks and workflows and be pushed into CRM applications.
In yet another major innovation, Eclipse will include an area called Communities. This is essentially a model marketplace. It will allow firms on the Orion platform to market their models to other advisors. Potential buyers can view marketing materials and portfolio analytics, and then sign up for a model in minutes. Once they sign up, the models are available to them immediately. Like many TAMP programs, however, the advisor retains ultimate control. They can set exclusions, rebalancing parameters, etc.
The platform has home office controls. This allows individual offices to create their own models, rebalancing parameters, etc., and limit access to their users only. The home level view allows the home office to look at everything in aggregate.
This article provides only a limited overview of what the new Orion Eclipse platform can do. If you are attending the T3 Conference, we’d encourage you to look Eclipse over yourself and share your impressions with us. If you are not at T3, and you are interested in Eclipse, please contact Orion directly for a demo.