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Orion Launches Open-Source Client Portal

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Orion announced in early May that it has launched a redesigned client portal that uses open-source code so other providers can build their own pages to integrate into the site.

“We’ve had a client portal since we started our business years ago. As web technology evolved, we felt like, ‘Hey, depending on the size of the tablet or the device that somebody is looking at this on, we need to make the design and menu systems responsive,” Eric Clarke, president and founder of Orion, told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday.

“All those things are nice, but we have a lot of other systems that we interact with here at Orion to help our advisors be efficient. What we thought would be really neat would be to open up the code for the portal to outside integration partners to add additional pages and contribute back to the project.”

Clarke said Orion has reached out to providers like InStream, MoneyGuidePro and Finance Logix to contribute code for the project. So far, more than 40 firms have been set up to access GitHub, where the portal code is stored, to build integrated pages for the portal.

“GitHub allows us to share that code and information, share the project with our vendor partners and allow them to come back in and contribute their own pages,” Clark said. “The development effort really has become more of a community effort. We’re really excited in the coming months to see the integration pages that our partners provide.”

The portal integrates account aggregation from Intuit, which allows clients to add data on accounts not managed by their advisor.

“They enter their user name and password and hit enter, and those accounts will be added to the list of accounts,” Clarke said.

When clients log in to the portal, they’ll see their accounts listed on the left-hand side of the screen with a summary of their holdings. Clients can view their assets by category or class, and can view the underlying holdings that make up those classes.

“In addition to seeing everything in the household, they can select one of the [individual] accounts and the screen will refresh.” Advisors can set up household accounts that include all the individual accounts for each member, or “if they have a household that has a unique situation and they want to keep things separate, they can set up two households,” Clarke said.

“The portfolio tab allows the client to come in, interact with their portfolio, get positions, performance, cost basis and transaction-level information without having to run a report. It’s just an interactive, on-screen experience.”

Clients can also link their accounts on Dropbox or Box so they can share documents with their advisor easily, Clarke said.

Since launching the portal on May 1, more than 500 advisors have logged in for training sessiona, Clarke said. “Firms are out there beta testing it right now before they go live with their client accounts.”

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