Orion bundles its technology for portfolio management and reporting with a service for downloading and reconciling accounts. You pay using the following pricing schedule: zero to 99 accounts for $90 per account; 100 to 299 accounts for $80 per account; 300 to 999 accounts at $70 per account; and 1,000 or more accounts at $50 an account. For advisories with fewer than 99 accounts, a minimum annual fee of $10,000 is billed quarterly in arrears at $2,500.

Orion has the best developed system to integrate with other apps that I've seen. It dynamically changes the documentation used by outside developers whenever Orion changes the code in its program. This system is going to make it easier for Orion's developers to integrate with other apps.

Service is the key aspect to watch for in selecting a PMS provider like Orion. Clarke says 94% of Orion clients' calls are answered within two hours. "We assign each client their own internal reconciliation team so they always have someone managing their data who operates as a remote member of their team," he says.

Editor-at-large Andrew Gluck, a veteran financial writer, owns Advisor Products Inc., a marketing technology company serving 1,800 advisory firms.

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