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Orion Advisor Technology President Brian McLaughlin and Orion CEO Natalie Wolfsen Photo provided by Orion
Orion Advisor Technology President Brian McLaughlin (left) and Orion CEO Natalie Wolfsen

Orion Launches BeFi, Proposal Generation Tools at Annual Conference

The wealthtech company is inching steps closer to an all-in-one wealth management platform.

Orion Advisor Solutions rolled out new tools during its annual Ascent conference this week as the firm continues its ambition to stitch together a bundle of acquired businesses into a unified wealth stack.

The firm has expanded its behavioral finance tools with the launch of “PulseCheck,” which is meant to bring a client’s “personal well-being and fulfillment” into the planning process.

“It’s an integration of personal and financial wellness, and you don’t want to sacrifice one for the other,” said Orion Chief Behavioral Officer Dr. Daniel Crosby. “We just want people to be thoughtful and have some data about their lives while trying to build wealth. We also want folks to build a life they can be proud of.”

Crosby said the tool asks clients to rank six qualities of “human flourishing” in order of importance. Grounded in known concepts from psychology, the goal is to discover what motivators are essential to individuals. That could be pursuing happiness, having a sense of engagement, believing that one is making “advancements” toward a goal or prioritizing healthy relationships, among others. 

With the client ranking, advisors can determine how a client is doing relative to their “ideal life” and discover where there may be gaps. He said that PulseCheck provides advisors with talking points on how clients can align themselves closer with their values.

Orion’s 2024 wealthtech survey found that one-third of advisors have already integrated behavioral finance into their practice, while 43% plan to do so within three years.  

Behavioral finance concepts are also incorporated into Orion Compare, a proposal generation program. The tool integrates data from across Orion’s platforms, including portfolio accounting, risk discovery, trading and CRM. It includes a 20-question assessment for clients to provide a snapshot of how much they worry about money and how they talk about it. The proposal generation tool takes the information and produces a narrative for advisors to use with the client when making proposals around their financial plans. 

The tool also includes “sliders” in the portal so advisors can make adjustments to a client’s portfolio on the fly and execute those changes with one click through Eclipse, its trading and rebalancing software, said Brian McLaughlin, the former CEO of Redtail and now president of Orion Advisor Technology.

“What advisors had to do before was a very multi-step function,” he said. “They had to jump between different applications, different setting pages, and then rerun the outputs. This is constantly doing it for them, saving them a huge amount of time, but it’s also just a little bit more fun.”

The new enhancements bring Orion closer to integrating all its different technologies, acquired over the past several years, into a unified wealth stack—a significant theme at the conference. The firm’s survey of advisors found integration was still a significant pain point for many.

Orion’s vision, executives explained, is to put the technology together with the CRM at the center, yet with the same look and feel across applications, which would be a departure from how most advisors currently experience Orion’s different platforms.

“We’re eliminating that by unifying the product language so that they look and feel similar enough that it reduces the friction for advisors and their staff to use the tools properly,” McLaughlin said.

“People have high hopes for us to unify these products and bring them into a simple to understand, simple to train and educate on process solution for them that can give them, if they want, any of these solutions, or, what I’m really happy and proud of is that it’s a ‘most in one,’ meaning they can have an alternate solution from what we offer and still have the same workflow experience.”

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