Eric Clarke, CEO of Orion Advisor Services, founded his company as a portfolio reporting solution in 1999, but 21 years later, it sits on the verge of offering a unified, seamless technology stack for financial advisors.

Orion is becoming a wealthtech one-stop shop for advisors and is experiencing user and asset growth comparable to the expansion of its offering. Earlier this year, the firm announced that it had passed $1 trillion dollars in assets under administration on its platform and that it now worked with over 2,000 advisory firms, increasingly on the financial planning side of advisors’ business.

“We have been thinking about how planning fits into the advisor-client relationship,” said Kelly Waltrich, chief marketing officer for Orion Advisor Solutions. “Orion will likely be one of the first firms to show finding a prospect, transitioning that prospect to a client, engaging in planning, serving that client an investment proposal based on their plan, and then opening the account all in one single workflow. We’re looking across the tools, and we see that we could very well connect all of those things.”

This unified technology suite would be able to power nearly any aspect of an advisor’s practice. It’s an offering that only recently began to take coherent form through a number of acquisitions and home-grown innovations.

Clarke has recognized that the biggest drivers of Orion’s “22% to 25%” growth rate over the past five years have been independent, fiduciary advisors seeking technology to create scale and efficiency. As Clarke puts it, most innovation is occurring on the fiduciary side of the industry, and many advisors are not content with the captive, non-integrated technology solutions offered by wirehouses and other large incumbents. Those newly independent advisors, with the right technology and support, had huge potential as engines of growth. It was an opportunity he wanted to seize for Orion.

“In order to achieve our growth goals and objectives, we not only have to worry about bringing on our next advisors, we can also hit those goals through accelerating the growth rate of the advisors that we already serve,” said Clarke. “One way we’re making a big investment in that is the Market*r platform. A second way we’re accelerating advisor growth is through our Advizr acquisition.”

Integrated, Automated Marketing
Market*r was launched in March as the Covid-19 pandemic was roiling financial markets and advisors were faced with the challenge of serving nervous clients and the opportunity to find new leads and prospects from the underserved. At heart, the platform is content-driven, creating personalized materials on topics relevant to the end client across multiple channels on a monthly basis that advisors can further customize with their own philosophy and analysis.

The platform is also automated across the marketing process and offers reporting on leads, prospects and clients on a single dashboard so advisors can gauge the efficacy of their campaigns.

“Most marketing platforms focused on serving one-off pieces of content through a single channel,” said Waltrich. “We wanted advisors to think about the way they distribute content in terms of campaigns with omni-channel touch points, landing pages, white papers, digital ads and email workflows all tied to a single campaign topic, and with topics tied to financial planning modules in the planning platform.”

Market*r has been made available in tiers so advisors can select the level of sophistication they desire, from a basic collateral-only, intermediate collateral-plus-technology and white-glove options that can include consulting services, planning support and custom campaign design and execution.

Clarke emphasized the link between strong marketing to transform leads to prospects and eventually to clients, and client experience and technology to transform a client into a promoter who will advocate for an advisor’s business.

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