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Orion Boosts Efforts to Woo Breakaway Advisors

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Orion Advisor Tech CEO Eric Clarke Orion Advisor Tech CEO Eric Clarke

Orion Advisor Solutions is stepping up its efforts targeting advisors who leave the wirehouses and other firms to become independent, the portfolio platform provider and fintech firm said Thursday.

Its 2021 initiatives for breakaway advisors include: collaborative virtual and in-person events; growing its digital library of practical guides; a network of Orion client firms for advisors to “tuck into” while still retaining their independence; and special deals, the company said.

Also, Orion is offering an exclusive bundle of Market*r, its automated, marketing campaign builder, and Orion Planning for $350 a month. This price waives a one-time setup fee of $300 that breakaways would otherwise have to pay to use the tools that are usually only available to advisors who sign up for its overall technology platform.

“After seeing a groundswell of interest in advisors making the break over the past year, we knew we needed to take our support to the next level,” according to Eric Clarke, Orion CEO. “In doing this, we’re creating the definitive first stop in the breakaway process, with resources and consultants ready to guide advisors from start to finish.”

These efforts aim to support the increasing number of advisors who “dream of establishing and growing independent firms,” the firm said. “While the tumult of 2020 forced many advisors to delay their breakaway plans, Orion has nonetheless seen the breakaway trend gain momentum,” it said Thursday.

The news comes one day after Commonwealth Financial launched Business Consulting Services, designed to support incoming wirehouse advisors going independent.

Between 2019-2020, Orion says it helped more than 100 advisors establish themselves as breakaways with technology and services supporting and enriching “the entire advisor-client journey,” it noted.

Industry researchers are  predicting a “surge in breakaway activity in 2021 as distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine progresses and advisors continue to be faced with a deluge of investors who demand a transparent, tech-infused client experience tailored to their individual goals,” the firm explained.

Orion cited Fidelity research showing that it takes the average advisor 10 months to consider, plan for and ultimately commit to independence.

More Details on Events

To prepare advisors to take the first step, Orion will host two “Making the Break: Breakaway Boot Camp” events. The first will be held virtually on April 7 and the second will be in-person in Omaha, Nebraska on June 30.

The April event will feature a keynote presentation including: Clarke; Noreen Beaman, Orion president; and Josh Brown, CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management.

It will also include consulting opportunities with experts including Brian Hamburger, founder and leader of the consultancy MarketCounsel and the Hamburger Law Firm, for which he serves as chief counsel, and Joel Bruckenstein, head of Technology Tools for Today (T3).

In addition, Orion plans to offer a breakaway track at its flagship user conference, Ascent 2021, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2021.

The company predicted that event will be “one of the industry’s first national conferences returning to an in-person format,” and said it will also feature an extensive virtual component. Orion expects the conference will attract the participation of more than 2,000 RIAs and more than 10,000 broker-dealer reps.

Drawing on deep partnerships” with those 2,000-plus advisory firms, Orion said it also “pledges to connect breakaway advisors to a network of client firms who can offer advantages of scale and support, while still allowing advisors to run their businesses independently.”

Those “tuck in programs” have become an appealing alternative for some advisors who may want more autonomy in their practice, but could be hesitant to leave behind the support structure of an established business, according to Orion.

Orion will also create a consultant network of marketing, technology, team-building and overall practice management resources to benefit breakaways, it said.

 

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