After several months of speculation about the future of Orion Advisor Solutions, the platform provider says it is merging with investment manager Brinker Capital to form a firm with some $40 billion in managed assets.
The new entity will do business as a technology firm and turnkey asset management program (or TAMP) business, according to Orion CEO Eric Clarke and Brinker CEO Noreen Beaman, who spoke with ThinkAdvisor in a joint phone call on Sunday.
The move comes as Genstar Capital says it is making an investment in the new entity, joining TA Associates, which currently supports Orion.
While there were industry reports of Orion putting itself up for sale earlier this year, the firm was actually speaking with Genstar about a possible merger with Brinker.
“I said to the press at the time that this [rumored plan for a sale] was not the case,” Clarke said. “Our business is always evaluating strategic opportunities, … and now with this [merger with Brinker], the story’s become more interesting with a 180-degree difference.”
Genstar “brought this up and asked our thoughts about it, and I immediately got excited about that prospect,” he said. “With Brinker’s incredible reputation, we saw so many ways [its] team could augment and be additive to our vision and accelerate our momentum to serve advisors …,” he explained.
According to Genstar Managing Director Tony Salewski, the merger means “we’ll be able to redefine the wealth management industry and capitalize on the powerful market growth trends favoring the merger of these two industry-leading companies.”
More Details on the Deal
As for doing a deal in a pandemic, Beaman, who is set to become president of the combined investment operations, says the context is “a positive one, given that both businesses are resilient and that the staff of both organizations can work from home.”
The advisors served by the combined entity also “are working to differentiate themselves today and perhaps for much longer,” she explained. “It’s a great time to consolidate the businesses.”