Orion Advisor Services is the latest technology vendor getting into the model marketplace game, but with a twist. The company is rolling out a peer-to-peer exchange it calls Orion Communities that lets advisors and strategists using the Eclipse platform to share model portfolios and investment strategy insights with each other without giving up control of the trading process.
When a strategist shares their models, they upload their agreement to the platform, and a subscribing advisor signs off on the agreement and payment terms. Trade review and execution is completed by the strategist firm. Orion helps support payments.
Russell Investments, BlackRock and CLS Investments have signed on as partners to provide their own models, portfolio building tools, market updates and commentaries with advisors on Orion Communities. Orion says many of them will be offered for free.
Todd Clarke, the managing director of Orion’s parent company, NorthStar Financial Services Group, said that by “making it easier for advisors to access and leverage each other’s expertise” it will help “diversify their practices and serve clients more efficiently.”
New Wealthtech Consultants on the Block
Doug and Liz Fritz, two former wealth management executives from major banks, are opening F2 Strategy, a wealthtech marketing firm in Silicon Valley that they say will “bridge the gap between emerging clients needs and the lack of a digital wealth experience.”
Liz, who will serve as F2’s chief marketing officer, brings more than a decade of experience leading marketing for the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth segments at Bank of the West Wealth Management, Wells Fargo Abbot Downing and Ascent Private Capital Management of the U.S. Bank. As CEO, Doug brings 20 years of experience as senior vice president and chief technology officer at the private banking arms of Wells Fargo and First Republic.
The married couple says they have already helped a large global wealth management firm decide whether to build or buy technology, created a digital wealth roadmap for a regional bank, and implemented technology at a Silicon Valley-based registered investment advisory firm.
“The meaning of a great customer experience has evolved from a firm handshake to a live human at the other end of a phone to a 24/7, multi-channel experience for customer, whether through their smartphone browser or sitting across the table from their financial advisor,” Liz said.
“F2 Strategy sits in a unique position within the wealth management industry,”Doug added. “Our deep technological and marketing experience is the perfect complement for any wealth management firm, family office, or RIA, whether they are innovators looking to maximize customer satisfaction or firms just trying not to be left behind.”
Industry Reacts to New CFPB Data-Sharing Guidelines
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a set of guiding principles around financial institutions and fintech companies sharing and aggregating client consumer financial data. The CFPB acknowledged the ability of data sharing to providing better service, and said the principles intend to reiterate the importance of consumers. “The principles express the bureau’s vision for realizing a robust, safe, and workable data aggregation market that gives consumers protection, usefulness, and value,” the agency wrote in a memo released Wednesday.
NextCapital co-founder Rob Foregger said that although the principles aren’t a binding requirement or obligation, they are a “strong step in the right direction” toward creating an industry standard framework for ensuring data remains safe while allowing consumers to keep control of their data. Lowell Putnam, the co-founder and CEO of Quovo, echoed Foregger’s thoughts, adding the CFPB is right to “make consumer understanding and control the guidepost for all stakeholders in the debate around access to consumer financial data.”
Stash Launches Mobile Banking
Stash, a mobile digital advice and investing app, announced plans to launch mobile bank services to help investors manage day-to-day money and build healthy financial habits. Features will include a goals-based saving feature, free bank accounts, a personalized spend and bill tracker, bill pay, direct deposit and even a debit card.
Stash said it would also provide customized advice for clients to reinforce positive behaviors with money with access to a long-term financial security plan it calls the “Stash Plan.”
RobustWealth Partners with Apex
RobustWealth announced a new partnership with Apex Clearing to enable the digital advice service to include trading exchange traded funds, mutual funds and U.S. stocks in its platform fee. RobustWealth said the deal with Apex will also enhance its capabilities to provide rapid client onboarding, account linking, same-day funding and easier bank transfers.