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Eric Clarke makes seven big Orion hires that reflect the big check it wrote to Bain & Co. -- including a 'poach' from his brother, Todd

The word-of-God consultant told the Omaha, Neb. software maker to build Eclipse, which worked well, and sparked demand for asset management and marketing experts

Author Brooke Southall January 12, 2018 at 7:28 PM
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Eric Clarke: Sometimes hiring an outside firm solidifies something we already know. It gave us some good courage.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

January 15, 2018 — 6:47 PM
The FinTech pedigree of the Clarke family is perfectly suited for highly disruptive innovation (not possible in a conventional brokerage business model), essential for expert standing in advisory services. The size and reseources of a holding company has no bearing on market stature. For example, more than 30 years ago CALPERS bought the source code of the old Computer Aided Decisions sub-accounting, trade and order routing and reporting technology through which it crossed al its buys and sells and sold trading volumn to electronic communications networks for a sum exceeding the actual cost of trade execution. This first zero trading cost environment was important as it enabled CALPERS to fulfill its fiduciary duty as a prudent expert to treat trade execution as a cost center to be minimized in its client's best interest rather than a profit center. Orion has this capability and it can be responsive to the advisor's responsibility to act in the client's best interest as a prudent expert. This is not possible in a brokerage format. Thus Orion preempts is brokerage focused competitors with a far superior value proposition and prudent expert standing. Importantly, Orion's free portfolio innovation directly resolves the problem that 40% of the investor's earnings on their retirement savings is lost to brokerage fees, commissions and administrative cost, again not possible with expensive packaged products distributed by brokerage firms. Again the RIA gains a competitive edge in cost and value. perhaps most profound, is the fact that models digitize hundreds of data points that empower the advisor to have direct access to real-time client holdings data which makes the continuous, comprehensive counsel of fiduciary duty possible which is not possible with expensive packaged products. This is perhaps the most definitive competitive edge for advisors relative to brokers. So, the fact that Orion can uniquely serve RIAs in ways brokers can't, is its ultimate edge, not the size of its holding company. Importantly, today we have RIAs which are both large and scalable who value a superior value proposition as a means to grow their business. CapTrust, Edelman, Savant, etc. are paying attention to the vulnerabilities of its largest incumbent competitors who have self-selected not to compete on value proposition and price. . SCW
Peter Giza

Peter Giza

January 15, 2018 — 8:43 PM
Stephen's is on point with his comments on the Clarke family. There is a huge trust and reliability factor there which trumps the size of competing financial backers dry powder kegs. I think it's important to note that prior to the Bain report, Orion was well underway in its execution of Eclipse (initially the code name for the rebalancing platform). Their interim platform known affectionately as TOM (Trade Order Management) not only helped them bridge the gap, but it also served as a proving ground for various Google and AWS technologies. The result was a much stronger devops readiness and utilization of newer cloud technologies. This enabled Orion to have a feature rich and stable post-beta debut. Pete Giza Spitbrook Associates

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