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TD Ameritrade Institutional Unveils Paperless Onboarding

The brokerage and custody firm now supports fully digital onboarding for advisors managing portfolios via Orion Advisor Services.

Orion Advisor Services and TD Ameritrade Institutional have finalized their digital onboarding process, an API-based workflow that moves data between Orion's platform and TDAI’s Veo Account Opening Wizard. Advisors will be able to use DocuSign to obtain client signatures as the data moves between the two companies.

“The cool thing about this is we're helping advisors have another way of easily opening accounts from the systems that they work with on a regular basis,” said Jon Patullo, managing director of technology platform management at TDAI.

Digital onboarding is a big time-saving measure for advisors, custodians and vendors. When Charles Schwab unveiled a similar feature at Orion’s 2018 Ascent conference, presenters bragged about reducing the onerous onboarding process from days to minutes. Orion reiterated that estimation, noting in a statement that its integration with TDAI would be “eliminating hours or days of manual data entry,” while “vastly reducing the likelihood of NIGO errors” that crop up due to human error. The workflow also provides Orion users with alerts indicating client opening activities at TDAI.

Advisors won’t have to print paper during the onboarding process, although they still can for clients who are used to paper documents, confirmed Patullo. “Half of what we get today is paper,” he said, “the other half is going through digitally, leveraging tools like DocuSign.”

An open-API architecture is great for producing digital, efficient workflows, said Eric Clarke, founder and CEO of Orion. “Creating a new account can feel like a throwback to the 20th century,” he said. “Without the benefit of digital innovation, it can be an arduous, time-consuming undertaking for advisors.”

Next areas of focus for eliminating paperwork will be “maintenance-type paperwork,” said Patullo. One area would be accounts that need margin added; the goal is to have clients authenticate an advisor’s addition of margin to an account via the advisor-client platform, he noted.

The new integration is available Monday for advisors. TDAI's other integration partners are Advyzon, Envestnet's Tamarac, Salesforce, Agreement Express, iPipeline, Docusign and Wealthbox. FTJ FundChoice and Carson Group's proprietary in-house platforms are linked, too.

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