WEALTHTECH INSIDER: 10 Cutting-Edge Tech Tools That Can Upgrade Your Practice, Part 2


A good technology partner is always thinking ahead, so that wealth management firms can focus more on thinking about what’s next for their clients.

That’s why Orion every year launches a host of new partnerships and enhancements to push the envelope for financial advisor technology, said a series of Orion experts in “The Top 10 Technology Tools You Need In 2023,” a recent webcast.

As the title suggests, Orion’s experts shared 10 next-generation upgrades to the Orion platform that will enhance the experience for the end client while making advisors’ lives a lot easier.

To make things easier to digest, Orion’s presentation has been split into two parts. Here’s the last five technology tools helping to change the face of wealth management for Orion’s client firms.

Redtail Campaigns

Redtail Campaigns is a melding of Orion’s Market*r platform and Snappy Kraken to produce streamlined, fully automated marketing capabilities, said Jake Leise, Director of Orion Prospect.

“A couple of years ago we came out with the Orion Market*r tool, which is the Orion marketing automation engine, and with that tool we allow you take advantage of pre-build marketing campaigns and send them to clients and prospects,” he said. “We wanted to examine how it was we could take that experience and take it to the next level and help you connect that experience to your broader wealth management efforts.”

To that end, Orion worked with Snappy Kraken to create marketing campaigns that lead directly into some of its financial planning functionality, like the Protect. Live. Dream bucketing tool, said Leise.

Redtail Campaigns also both expands the content available to Orion users and increases the breadth of campaigns, said Leise.

3D Risk Profile

Orion gives advisors multiple options when it comes to risk profiling their clients, the latest being a three-dimensional perspective on a client’s stance towards risk, said Brian Morgan, Director of Product, Financial Planning, at Orion Advisor Solutions.

Rather than just measuring a client’s risk tolerance, their ability to invest and absorb losses, the tool also measures risk composure, their tendency to be anxious or behave rashly in response to volatility, and their risk capacity, their financial security and ability to handle emergencies.

“If we think about the markets in 2022, these are really important questions to ask,” said Morgan. “They can really help when we’re having another choppy day in the market, you now understand which clients maybe have a low-risk composure, so you can be proactive and reach out to these clients.”

For advisors using Orion’s financial planning tools, the 3D Risk Profile can also link clients to appropriate model portfolios to suit their responses. Advisors can customize which models are recommended by the automation.

The 3D Risk profile responses and results can be made available in a PDF report for use in client meetings as well, said Morgan, so it doesn’t just live in the background of a financial plan.

Real-Time Data Sharing

A partnership with Amazon RedShift allows Orion to offer real-time data sharing to advisors and its technology partners, said Bala Vissapragada, Technical Product Manager at Orion Advisor Solutions.

Real-time data sharing through Amazon RedShift is the next step in how the financial industry shares data globally, said VIssapragada, an evolution that started with paper reports delivered by hand. These were eventually replaced by computer-based reports delivered by email or FTP.

“But there was always a problem with it,” she said. “The data is always stale. Later there were scheduled processes running—jobs running every two-to-five minutes to actively look for the data.”

But even in these cases, and with APIs to this point, data would always be a minute or two stale. With the Amazon RedShift integration, advisors, firms, and technology partners will have access to Orion data tables in the form of raw, read-only views that will be updated in real time as reconciliation happens or as teams are making changes to the data on the platform.

All data can be queried in real time, said Vissapragada, potentially solving an industry-wide issue with reconciliation. Using the technology, Orion as a producer itself has improved report generation and application performance times by three times, and search query speeds are now tracking nine-times faster.

Enhanced Trading Capabilities

Orion has made many enhancements to its trading platform, said Brian Nelson, Senior Product Manager, Trading, at Orion Advisor Solutions.

The first major enhancement is the ability to set account- or portfolio-specific security equivalents, enabling large, legacy, and low-cost-basis positions to easily be traded around.

“Account and portfolio equivalents are solutions for handling client assets that are not targeted in a model,” said Nelson. “Common examples me include legacy assets and assets with low-cost basis in a taxable account.”

A security can be set as a direct equivalent to a targeted model security or individual account—so if a client has a large legacy position in Microsoft, but their model target is Apple, the advisor can allow the Microsoft stock to take the place of the Apple stock model target rather than treat the Microsoft stock as a non-model position.

Another major enhancement to trading is the integration of portfolio groups between Orion’s portfolio accounting platform and Eclipse, its trading and rebalancing platform. Users can now create portfolio groups in Eclipse, and it will automatically sync into Orion Connect.

Enhanced Reporting

Several upgrades have also been made to Orion’s core reporting functionality, said Michelle Mancuzzo, Senior Product Manager, Reporting, at Orion Advisor Solutions.

For example, Orion has added new accessibility features for vision-impaired users, updating the PDFs in its platform to a new format compatible with assisted reader technology.

Orion has also enhanced financial planning components within .PDF reports, including sub-reports with action steps, goals, net-worth balance sheets and charts that can be incorporated into client meetings as visualization tools.

Finally, a new report package functionality has been introduced, as well as redesigned reports landing pages for advisors to allow them to find reports using new search and filter functions more easily.

“We will continue to listen to our advisors to help guide us on what areas are important and what we need to work on next to provide you with the intuitive and powerful tools you need to show the value created in client relationships, and continue to grow your business,” said Mancuzzo.