(Image: Gavin Spitzner/Wealth Consulting Partners)

Orion Advisor Solutions CEO Eric Clarke made the case for why (and how) “technology acts as a catalyst for measurable growth” in his keynote speech Sunday at the inaugural Wealth/Stack conference taking place this week in Phoenix. 

The executive said Orion’s 2,000-plus clients have about $900 billion in assets and most, 92%, “do not have a broker-dealer affiliation.” This means the advisors look to their technology partners “to help them innovate, disrupt and win.” 

Clarke says the recipe for a successful RIA includes these five ingredients: a well-defined value proposition, incredible client experience, operational efficiency and the ability to execute its growth strategy.

“A TD Ameritrade Institutional study found firms focused on efficiency grow twice that of other firms,” he explained to an audience of about 700 RIAs and other guests. 

Clients are the means to that growth, according to Clarke. That means advisors must turn clients in to advocates by maintaining “touchpoints” with them and providing excellent service. 

He then pointed to a Pershing study showing advisory firms investing in their client experience (or CX) “are growing five time that of other firms” — Carson Wealth, for instance, is spending about $50 million on it.

Other keys to success, in Clarke’s mind, are “innovating on your value prop, disrupting your business model and ‘future-proofing’ your business.” 

These steps, he says, should give advisors what they need “to win more than your fair share.” Again, Clarke said, “Use technology to do these … things.”   

Thanks to firms like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Uber, “The expectations that our clients now have are vastly different than what they used to be,” he said. “Don’t look at the financial competition for client expectations.”

As for how advisors can best build their brands, “Think about building financial awareness and literacy via [a marketing] campaign,” Clarke said.

“Think about building financial awareness and literacy via [a marketing] campaign,” Clarke said in his talk.

He then shared that Orion will roll out a pilot marketing and prospecting service for a few client firms now experiencing growth that’s “behind” their goals. “We want to enable them to do marketing campaigns” as part of a larger business-building road map, he explained.

The program is set to be offered to its broader client base in 2020.

According to Orion CMO Kelly Waltrich, the firm received many requests for information about the marketing service from Wealth/Stack participants after Clarke’s talk at the event.

— Check out RIA M&As at ‘Unprecedented Level’: Wealth/Stack Panelist on ThinkAdvisor.