Skip navigation
Orion office logo

Orion Expands Advisor Access to DPL's Fee-Based Annuities Platform

RIAs on the Orion platform with DPL membership now have more flexibility and data feeds around annuities and insurance.

Wealthtech company Orion Advisor Solutions has expanded its partnership with DPL Financial Partners, an insurance management platform for registered investment advisors, to provide direct access to DPL’s commission-free annuity marketplace, Product Discovery Tools, and its team of licensed insurance consultants.

New to the integration is a single sign-on and full direct access for fee-based advisors using the Orion Advisor Technology platform.

Advisors on Orion’s platform with a DPL membership can compare annuities by type, benefits and costs using DPL’s proprietary tools, bringing data feeds directly into the Orion platform.

When the two firms initially integrated in November 2021, advisors had access to a limited data feed into Orion.

Advisors can also more easily manage annuity assets alongside other investments in client portfolios.

In addition to a choice of commission-free annuities, advisors can find life, disability and long-term care products for their clients on the marketplace.

DPL founder and CEO David Lau said the timing and technology were right to see fee-based annuities take off among fiduciary RIAs. But he said he had no interest in selling to any of the large insurance carriers.

“I want to own fee-based annuity distribution,” he said.

“If you think about the advisory world, everything is fee-based. They didn’t just decide on their own to move from commissions to fees,” he said, rattling off a list of many large financial services companies that initiated the shift.

DPL’s digital product catalog can currently model over 3,200 annuities and over 100,000 riders.

“The market for fee-based annuities is booming,” said Will Trout, director of securities and investments practices at Datos Insights, noting that shifts in demographics and market uncertainty are driving investor need for retirement income.

“It is technology that has been the real game changer, however—insurance-focused solutions like what this DPL offering has with its turnkey access to products, education and compliance support that are making the lives of advisors much easier,” he said.

He added that it is partnerships with platforms like Orion that enable expanded distribution and provide a competitive moat for advisors against the large insurers who are now heavily investing in fintech.

In addition to helping an advisor best match an annuity to a client’s current situation, the platform’s comparison engine can also help advisors working with existing annuity holders.

“The platform is problem-centric, not product-centric,” Lau said, meaning that if a client’s current product is not meeting their expectations or needs, it can be compared to others on the market based on many different parameters.

According to the firm, more than 5,500 RIA firms have access to DPL either through direct membership or through partnerships with wealth management platforms.

And Orion is not the first such platform to partner with DPL.

Wealth management platform provider Black Diamond, owned by SS&C Technologies, launched its own insurance marketplace for RIAs in partnership with DPL in fall 2021.

That endeavor was highly integrated with the Black Diamond Wealth Platform and allowed for similar searches and comparisons; 100 RIA firms had piloted it during its development phase, which began a year before.

As for cost, firms pay DPL a membership fee that varies depending on AUM, with discounts for multi-year memberships. Fees start at $1,000 per year, and it’s per firm, not per seat, a DPL spokesperson said. It enables all advisors to access DPL’s product marketplace, tools, digital application and contract management platform, as well as the company’s team of insurance-licensed consultants.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.