There’s an unspoken catch-22 in the investment world, where fiduciary-minded advisors need to grow their businesses, but often don’t want to forego control with a hands-off investment management solution. Orion Advisor Tech (“Orion”), a division of Orion Advisor Solutions and a premier provider of financial advisor technology and enhanced investment solutions, addresses this complex demand, today announcing the launch of its investment model marketplace, Orion Communities.
Uniquely positioned as a middle ground between advisory firms that handle investment management in-house and traditional turnkey asset management platforms, Orion Communities offers access to models from a growing list of over 40 big brand, boutique, and emerging money managers across fixed income, equities, and alternatives.
Orion Communities creates a bridge for advisors seeking to scale their businesses by outsourcing investment management and due diligence but retaining trade-by-trade discretion and control over client accounts.
“As we thought about all the advisors we serve across Orion Advisor Tech and Orion Portfolio Solutions, we realized that many did not fit into one box or the other,” explains Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Solutions. “We identified firms that preferred to keep certain functions — like trade execution — in house, but that didn’t have the due diligence resources to carefully vet outside strategists.”
A Platform Committed to Flexibility & Efficiency
To easily locate investment options that best suit a client’s unique objectives, advisors can filter and compare models on multiple criteria, including manager, management style, model fee, minimum investment amount, risk score, and more. Advisors can then subscribe to a single model — or an entire lineup of strategist models — in just a couple of clicks.
Working within Orion’s trading tools, Eclipse and TOM, advisors can approve or deny any changes submitted by the strategist, allowing them to retain full trading authority over their clients’ portfolios. They can also elect to auto-accept trades, which will generate a trade file in Orion’s trading tools.
“As firms grow, it can be difficult to fit clients into just a handful of firm-created models, due to investors’ varying objectives and tolerances for risk,” says Clarke. “It’s imperative that we provide a best-in-class user experience and seamless connectivity to Orion’s trading tools to accommodate the need to personalize portfolios in a scalable way.”
Diverse Investment Options From 40-Plus Strategists
To accommodate clients’ unique objectives, advisors need robust investment vehicles that span multiple asset types, including mutual funds, ETFs, and equity models — as well as risk categories from conservative income to aggressive.
“Research on the average Orion household indicated that to satisfy the varying needs of end-investors, separately managed account [or SMA] strategies were necessary in order to offer more personalized investment options to advisors and their clients,” says Orion Advisor Solutions’ Chief Investment Officer, Rusty Vanneman, CFA, CMT.
Accordingly, the strategist lineup on Orion Communities includes brand and boutique money managers with models across multiple risk categories and asset classes. Household brand names include BlackRock, American Funds, and Franklin Templeton, while boutique strategists include Clark Capital Management, Horizon Investments, and Main Management.
A Two-Pronged Due Diligence Process
To balance investment flexibility with the reliability advisors need, each available strategist is reviewed by Orion Portfolio Solutions, Orion’s sister company, using a Due Diligence Questionnaire (DDQ). Some strategists on Orion Communities undergo an even deeper monitoring and review process to ensure consistent investment management standards.
“Investment options are only beneficial when they’re carefully considered and evaluated for consistency,” says Vanneman. “We want to ensure that the most comprehensive investment model marketplace is supported by rigorous due diligence standards.”
How to Get Started
Advisors who use the Orion platform can access Orion Communities and execute trades through either of its trading applications, Eclipse or TOM.
To learn how Orion Communities makes it possible to create truly personalized portfolios in an efficient, scalable way, advisors should attend Orion’s upcoming webinar.
ABOUT ORION ADVISOR TECH
Orion Advisor Technology, LLC, exists to help fiduciary-minded advisors realize their unique vision for success. Our innovative technology includes client experience tools, tax-intelligent rebalancing, efficient billing, integrated planning, and automated compliance monitoring, all aimed at empowering advisors to improve their firm’s productivity, strengthen client relationships, and disrupt traditional ways of thinking. With more than $1 trillion in AUA and 3.8 million accounts on our platform, we have the experience and expertise necessary to help advisors grow and win more than their fair share. For more information, visit www.orion.com.