‘Boot camp’ events, expertise networks and pricing deals create new advantages for advisors considering independence.
Orion Advisor Solutions, a premier provider of the tech-enabled fiduciary framework that empowers financial advisors to Prospect, Plan, Invest, and Achieve within a single, connected experience, will make 2021 the year of the breakaway advisor. Orion is investing in bold initiatives – including collaborative virtual and in-person events, a growing digital trove of practical guides, a network of Orion client firms for advisors to “tuck into” while still retaining their independence, and special pricing deals – all to support the growing number of advisors who dream of establishing and growing independent firms.
While the tumult of 2020 forced many advisors to delay their breakaway plans, Orion has nonetheless seen the breakaway trend gain momentum. Between 2019-2020, Orion helped more than 100 advisors establish themselves as breakaways with technology and services that support and enrich the entire advisor-client journey. Looking ahead, industry researchers foresee a surge in breakaway activity in 2021 as distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine progresses and advisors continue to be faced with a deluge of investors who demand a transparent, tech-infused client experience tailored to their individual goals.
“After seeing a groundswell of interest in advisors making the break over the past year, we knew we needed to take our support to the next level,” said Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion. “In doing this, we’re creating the definitive first stop in the breakaway process, with resources and consultants ready to guide advisors from start to finish.”
Starting the Breakaway Journey at an Orion “Boot Camp’ Event
After years of support, Orion understands the decision to break away is not lightly made. Fidelity research shows it takes the average advisor 10 months to consider, plan for, and ultimately commit to independence. To prepare advisors to take the first step, Orion will host two “Making the Break: Breakaway Boot Camp” events. The first will be held virtually on April 7 and the second will be in-person in Omaha, Nebraska on June 30. The agenda for the April event will feature a keynote presentation from “The Reformed Broker” Josh Brown, Orion CEO Eric Clarke, Orion President Noreen Beaman, and consulting opportunities with experts, including Brian Hamburger of MarketCounsel Consulting on employment transition, regulatory compliance, and business launch; Shannon Spotswood of RFG Advisory covering branding; Orion Chief Behavioral Officer Daniel Crosby, Ph.D and Orion’s President, Center of Outcomes, Ali McCarthy, Ph.D, discussing team-building; and Joel Bruckenstein for tech consultations. Each of these speakers and experts have extensive experience with the challenges and opportunities in store for newly-independent advisors.
Offering Competitive Pricing and Ongoing Support
To arm breakaway advisors with every possible advantage in 2021, Orion will also offer Market*r, its automated, omnichannel marketing campaign builder, and Orion Planning, an intuitive and engaging planning experience, for $350/month. The turmoil of 2020 demonstrated the critical need for a holistic and transparent planning experience, and by combining hyper-personalized content campaigns on top-of-mind planning topics, best-in-class marketing execution technology, and self-guided financial goal work-flows, advisors can innovate on the way they think about business development.
Finally, Orion plans to offer a breakaway track at their flagship user conference, Ascent 2021 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2021. This event will be one of the industry’s first national conferences returning to an in-person format, while also offering an extensive virtual experience including a 360-degree live stream view, bringing together Orion’s user base across each of their brands–Orion Advisor Tech, Orion Portfolio Solutions and Brinker Capital Investments –and drawing participation from 2000+ RIAs and 10,000+ broker-dealer reps.
Inspiring New Visions and Plans for Long-Term Success
Drawing on deep partnerships with more than 2,000 advisory firms, Orion also pledges to connect breakaway advisors to a network of client firms who can offer advantages of scale and support, while still allowing advisors to run their businesses independently. These “tuck in programs” have become an attractive alternative for some advisors who may want more autonomy in their practice, but may hesitate to leave behind the support structure of an established business.
Further leveraging its connections, Orion will create a consultant network of marketing, technology, team-building, and overall practice management resources for the benefit of breakaways. Every independent advisor’s journey will be able to benefit from a growing pool of expertise, not only during the breakaway process, but long after the advisor has established their footing as an entrepreneur.
“If you talk to just about any breakaway, they will tell you in one way or another, ‘Why didn’t I do this earlier?’” Clarke said. “In 2021, we will give advisors every possible advantage as they create their own entrepreneurial visions. No two breakaways have the same path to independence, and none of them need to take the journey alone.”