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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

Orion Buys Compliance and Risk Management Firm

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What You Need to Know

  • Orion's acquisition of Atlanta-based BasisCode Compliance will strengthen Orion’s compliance technology offering for RIAs and other clients.
  • The addition complements what Orion has been doing in the compliance space, T3 head Joel Bruckenstein says.
  • The transaction closed Friday. Terms were not disclosed.

The latest acquisition by Orion Advisor Solutions is BasisCode Compliance, an Atlanta-based software firm that specializes in regulatory compliance and risk management technology.

The purchase will strengthen Orion’s compliance technology offering for RIAs and other clients, it said Friday. The firm will add BasisCode to its fintech integrations that help financial advisors to “‘Prospect, Plan, Invest, and Achieve’ within a single, connected digital experience,” according to Orion.

“The combined platform experience is expected to come to market quickly,” the companies said in a joint announcement.

The transaction was signed and closed on Friday, according to the companies. “Additional transaction details will not be disclosed,” they added.

BasisCode “built some fairly comprehensive software, but they had trouble getting wide distribution in the RIA space, perhaps because it was overkill for all but the largest RIA firms,” Joel Bruckenstein, head of Technology Tools for Today, said Friday.

Since then, “there has been a lot of organic and inorganic growth, so there are more firms that can benefit from the technology, and Orion has the distribution,” he told ThinkAdvisor by email.

The addition of BasisCode “complements” what Orion is “already doing in the compliance space,” he added.

Earlier this year, Orion acquired Riskalyze rival HiddenLevers, an Atlanta-based firm that operates a risk analytics and business intelligence platform.

That purchase followed Orion’s merger with Brinker Capital last year, after several months of speculation about the future of Orion Advisor Solutions.

Orion supports more than 2,200 advisory firms with $1.7 trillion in assets under administration and an additional $60 billion of combined assets between Orion Portfolio Solutions and Brinker Capital’s wealth management platform (as of Sept. 30), it said.

BasisCode, founded in 2011, provides compliance management in a secure cloud environment, with capabilities including compliance testing, risk assessment, trading surveillance, insider trading, staff certifications and audit-ready reporting.

“The adoption of regulatory technology like BasisCode has skyrocketed in recent years due to increasing regulatory complexity, cost pressure and the need for more data collection and analysis in financial services,” according to Kylee Beach, general counsel of Orion Advisor Solutions.

“By integrating BasisCode’s extensive compliance capabilities within Orion’s technology stack, we can help clients embody a culture of compliance and make the work they do in their most critical systems more connected and robust,” she said in the announcement.

The expanded capabilities that Orion will receive as a result of the acquisition stand to appeal to both its “core client base of independent financial advisors as well as Enterprise firms such as independent broker-dealers, banks and custodians serving hybrid RIAs,” she added.

BasisCode provides its solutions to more than 400 firms globally including RIAs, BDs, compliance consulting firms, hedge funds and private fund managers, insurance companies and banks.

“Under the Orion umbrella, BasisCode anticipates increased interactions between consultants and independent advisors seeking professional support,” the firms said.

Carlos Guillen, BasisCode founder, CEO and president, is taking on the role of senior vice president of tech products at Orion, focusing on compliance products. Rick Atkinson, BasisCode chief technology officer, will become Orion vice president of application development.