WEALTHTECH INSIDER: 10 Cutting-Edge Tech Tools That Can Upgrade Your Practice, Part 1


Technology is changing so fast; advisors may find themselves struggling to keep up.

That’s why it’s important to have a forward-thinking technology provider who is constantly finding ways to implement new ideas and developments, 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 investors 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 first five technology tools helping to change the face of wealth management for Orion’s client firms.

Redtail CRM

Integration is a popular wealthtech buzzword, but as Orion’s platform has grown through new development and a series of high-profile acquisitions, it has endeavored to deepen the connections between the different pieces of technology on its platform.

In 2022, nowhere was that truer than in the connections between Orion and Redtail Technology, said Hayley Mandrup, Product Owner, Orion CRM at Orion Advisor Solutions.

“Every advisor or administrator, is typically, logging into their CRM when they first get to the office for the day, and they’re not really logging out of the CRM ever, or it’s the last thing logged out of before they leave for the day,” said Mandrup. “So, with that in mind… it just made sense to put the Orion portfolio view within Redtail, and we put it into Redtail in several different places.”

If advisors want, they can even make the Orion Portfolio View the first thing they see when logging into Redtail and opening a client account.

Risk Intelligence

Orion can now do advanced risk analysis as both a method of better understanding their current clients and potentially appealing to prospects, said Audrey Satre, Senior Product Manager, Orion Risk Intelligence.

Satre demonstrated how Orion Risk Intelligence assigns a risk number for clients, investments and portfolios using either information manually entered by the advisor or imported in through one of Orion’s many integrations.

If a client’s risk score is out of balance with their portfolio, the platform enables advisors to create recommendations to create a portfolio better suited for the client through a highly automated process eliminating a lot of order entry and back-and-forth communications.

Custom Indexing

“One of the nice things about Orion is that we can take different tools that we have here and apply them in a lot of different ways, so what Audrey was going over in Risk Intelligence (comes into play here),” said Andrew Rosenberger, Head of Custom Indexing at Orion Advisor Solutions. “One of the things with Orion Custom Indexing is we can incorporate a lot of the additional tools Orion provides to you.”

Custom Indexing allows advisors to create bespoke indexes for their clients through a process that generally begins with a traditional index, model or portfolio, then “unwraps” it by buying the underlying positions in the index instead of an ETF and mutual fund. By owning the underlying positions, advisors can offer clients more advanced tax management and tax transition services.

Custom indexing can also be used to create ESG, socially responsible or faith-based portfolios that resemble an index without any holdings the end client might find objectionable, or to build portfolios around legacy positions, said Rosenberger.

For example, a custom indexing solution can be used to tamp down some of the concentration risk in passive, technology-heavy market-capitalization indexes like the S&P 500 and the Russell 1000.

Automated Account Solution

Another step towards modernization is offering clients a robust client portal with a streamlined account opening process.

As it turns out, Orion now offers a fully digital, self-guided account opening process through an integration with Apex, said Brian Morgan, Director of Product at Orion Advisor Solutions.

“As we get into 2023, I think clients will continue to expect a more modern, digital experience, and that’s hopefully what we’re delivering with this solution,” Morgan said.

Utilizing Apex’s digital API suite, accounts can be open with the click of a button. This helps advisors to create scale, spend less time on paperwork, and get back to growing your business by establishing and maintaining client relationships.

Protect. Live. Dream.

Over the past decade, the wealth management industry has come to accept that working with a client’s finances is not merely a matter of math, investments, taxes and dollars—it’s an emotional process, and the advisor-client relationship is about managing behaviors as much as it is about managing money.

With that in mind, Orion has launched a behavioral bucketing functionality called Protect, Live, Dream, said Cade DeNazario Akers, Product Manager, Financial Planning at Orion Advisor Solutions.

“This idea really turns on mental accounting, the propensity of individuals to treat equally fundable dollars differently,” said DeNazario Akers. “We’re mentally or accounting for—or framing—these assets in our minds, and the story behind the assets has a lot to do with our behavior around these assets.”

Protect, Live, Dream, allows advisors and clients to bucket their assets and give every dollar a purpose. The platform begins with the Protect, Live and Dream buckets, but can be customized to use between two and four buckets with any naming or description the advisor wants. These customizations can be effective firm wide, practice wide, or for the individual clients.