Author Archives: Eddie Sempek

Eddie Sempek serves as Orion's Chief Innovation Officer. He has worked in several roles at Orion and now oversees the team of tech consultants. He enjoys helping firms in their strategic planning and implementation of technology.
Stay on Top of Employee Oversight with the Supervise Tool

Even if you’re a one-person shop, keeping track of portfolio management, trading and billing can be a daunting task. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how the Supervise Tool, found within Orion’s Compliance app, can help you spend less time monitoring trading and billing functions, and more time meeting with clients, so you can enjoy your business again.

What?

The Supervise Tool helps you create a testing regimen that can automatically run your queries at a specific time, and save you a great deal of prep work over manual review processes.

You can also establish a supervisory exception reporting system that can aid you in quickly reviewing portfolio management, trading practices, billing and many other items that can help reduce risks to your firm.

Why?

As an app that was custom built for compliance professionals, Supervise benefits users who are responsible for managing your oversight program. Depending on the size of your firm, that could be a dedicated Chief Compliance Officer, or it could be yourself, if you’re a one-person shop.

Ultimately though, your clients will receive the benefit of working with a well-regulated firm that stays current with compliance reporting requirements. With a smoothly-run compliance department, you can spend more time focused on building client relationships.

How?

To access the Supervise tool:

  1.       Open the Compliance app in Orion Connect.
  2.       Navigate to the left side menu.
  3.       Here, you will find six tabs:
  • Open Items: All queries that have run, but have not yet been reviewed.
  • Completed Items: All queries that have been reviewed to 100% completion. By default, this list is filtered to show only queries run during the last month.
  • All Items: A complete list of all Open and Completed Items.
  • Scheduled Queries: A complete list of all queries you have scheduled to run, including the last run time and next run time for each.
  • Exception Items: A list of query results that have been marked as an exception.
  • Query Templates: A list with descriptions of all pre-populated query templates created by Orion and all new templates you’ve created.
  1.       There are several queries available within the Supervise app. Feel free to review the templates that have already been created to see if they will fit your needs.
  2.       Pre-created templates include reviews of households by state, active accounts without a balance and specific transition reviews. If you choose to create your own template via the Actions button, you’ll go through a simple tutorial wizard to complete each necessary step.
  3.       After creating a template, you can schedule your queries to run via the Scheduled Queries tab. Once a query has run, you access its results on the Open Items page.
  4.       Double-click an Open Item to view its results within Supervise. As you check off each line as reviewed (either with multi-select or individually), the progress meter will fill up. Once it hits 100% your Open Item will automatically move to the Completed Items list.

Most Popular Supervise Queries

ID 78 – Inactive Accounts Not Zero

ID 11 – Active Accounts with a Zero Balance

ID 101602 – Daily Trade Activity (All Products Types Included)

ID 13909 – SEC Trade Blotter – Equities

ID 13910 – SEC Trade Blotter – Fixed Income

ID 16618 – SEC Trade Blotter – Mutual Funds

ID 13911 – SEC Trade Blotter – Options

ID 14401 – SEC Standing Letters of Authorization

ID 100 – New Money Report

ID 16731 – Daily Advisory Trades Excluding Cash Transactions

ID 2170 – Trading Blocked Accounts

ID 5522 – Out of Tolerance Report

ID 15094 – Canceled Account

ID 18060 – Same CUSIP, Same Day Trades

ID 15220 – Trading Inactivity Report

ID 7629 – Fee Schedule by Accounts

We hope you will find these queries beneficial. If you have any questions, or need additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact the Compliance Team at compliance@orion.com.

0833-OAS-8/12/2019

Save Time with the Batch Performance Tool

Have you ever wanted to run several performance reports at once? With the Batch Performance Tool, you can! In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to save time by gathering all of your reports into one place. Let’s dive in!

What?

You may want to run a performance report for all households, registrations and accounts, or a combination of the three. You may even want to create groupings associated with this information (i.e., Management Style, Asset Category, Asset Class, etc.). Instead of building a custom query, you can use the Batch Performance Tool and run all of your reports in one place – saving you time.

Why?

The Batch Performance Tool runs in the background – just like Report Batches. You can configure your settings, click “Run,” and then come back to view your results when they are complete, rather than having to run a query and leave the browser up while it runs. The batch also automatically saves so you can go back and view your results at a convenient time.

How?

To start using the Batch Performance Tool:

  1. Locate and launch the Batch Performance Tool app.
  2. If the app is not visible, you may need to have it enabled in Manage Users.
  3. Within Manage Users, go to Role, select Records, and then choose Portfolio. Here you will define the Batch Performance rights, which the Admin at your firm can enable. Read, Edit, and Delete must be enabled to enable the Batch Performance app.
  4. After opening the Batch Performance app, you will select the Actions Menu in the top right corner, then select “New Batch.”
  5. This will bring up the following screen where a Batch Name will be entered.
  6. Select the Period, then select additional periods to include in the drop-down.
  7. After clicking “Next,” you will be brought to the “Selection” screen where you will determine if you want the batch to run at the Household, Registration, or Account level. After selecting the level, you will select the additional grouping options below:
  8. After selecting groupings, click “Next” to go to the Performance Options screen.
  9. This will default to the firms performance settings that have been set in the Firm Profile app. These can be adjusted as needed.
  10. Click “Next” to proceed to the “Review” screen. If everything looks good, select “Create Batch.” This will begin running the batch. You can go about your day until the batch has finished running.

Need additional help? The Performance Team is standing by! Feel free to contact us at performance@orionadvisor.com

0768-OAS-7/29/2019

Viewing Client Risk Statistics in the Performance Viewer App

When creating a client portfolio, one of the most important factors to consider is risk. The term “risk” may have negative or scary connotations in a client’s mind, but with the right tools in place you can illustrate the importance of bearing investment risk and the possible rewards it can bring.

What?

Using the Performance Viewer app, you can view risk statistics and ensure that your clients’ portfolios are taking on the right amount of risk to meet their financial objectives. The Statistical Summary within the Performance Viewer highlights standard deviation, alpha, and beta for your clients’ portfolios. These measurements give a good indication if changes need to be made within the portfolio should the risk be too high or too low.

How?

You can view your client’s portfolio risk within the Performance Viewer. You can also print a report to assist in client meetings. This will help illustrate your trade rationale should you decide your client’s portfolio risk needs to be re-aligned.

To access your client’s portfolio risk via Statistical Summary:

1 – Navigate to the Performance Viewer app.

2 – Enter in the Household, Registration, or Account you wish to view these statistics for.

3 – Make sure the date range is correct and add in any additional time periods you would like to view.

4 – Add in any lower level groupings in the “Groupings” section.

5 – Under “Return Style”, check the box by “Statistic Summary.”

6 – Click “Calculate.”

7 – Once the results have loaded, click on any entity in the “Summary” section to select it.

8 – Then right-click and select “Statistical Summary.”

From the “Statistical Summary” screen you can view risk statistics such as standard deviation, alpha, and beta for any grouping or benchmark loaded for the period. You can also select a new date range to view different time periods.

Using the Performance Viewer app to access risk statistics can help keep your clients on track to meet their long term financial objectives.

If you have questions or need help navigating the Performance Viewer please contact the Orion Performance team at performance@orionadvisor.com

0264-OAS-3/26/2019

 

Expand Your Fee Options with Asset Level Billing

When it comes to charging for advisory services, there are many different options. Flat, tiered, hourly, who’s to say what’s best? In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll explore an additional method, Asset Level Billing.

What?

Did you know you can negotiate different fee rates for certain types of positions held in your clients’ portfolios?

Why?

Asset Level Billing allows you to assign a different fee schedule to a certain Product Category, Product Class, Asset Category, or Risk Category within an account. An Asset Level fee schedule will override the traditional Fee Schedule field, and then assign a Flat 1.0% schedule to the Asset Category – Money Market. Every asset that is assigned Money Market as the asset category in the account will be billed at 1.0%, while all other assets will be billed at 1.5%

How?

To establish Asset Level Billing:

  1. Please contact the SME Billing Team to enable the “Use Asset Class Billing” entity option for the database.
  2. Make sure all applicable fee schedules are created in the Billing Audit app, under the Fee Schedules tab.
  3. To apply this to the account, go to the Billing Audit app.
  4. Navigate to the “All Acounts” tab and right-click on the applicable account to Edit Account.
  5. Navigate to Billing>General. Click on the gray pencil to the right of the “Fee Schedule” field.
  6. Choose an “Assignment Type” in the dropdown, and click on “Add.”

7. Select the applicable Class or Category, and the Fee Schedule. Click OK, and then “Save” on the account.

What Does the Bill Look Like?

For example, an account is worth $100,000, and $25,000 of that account’s value represents Money Market assets. The account is assigned a flat 1.5% fee schedule, and a flat 1.0% fee schedule is assigned to the Asset Category – Money Market. $75,000 of the account will be billed at 1.5%, and $25,000 at 1.0%. The bill will be broken out into separate line items showing each calculation on the invoice and on the payable summary.

Need Additional Help? The Billing Team is standing by! Feel free to contact us at billing@orionadvisor.com

0738-OAS-7/22/2019

Streamline Your Report Builder Organization

One of the most popular apps in Orion Connect, Report Builder can help you shine during client meetings! In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to organize your folders so you can get to your most important data quickly.

What?

When using Report Builder, there are several user groups who have access to folders and saved elements. Since there are many different groups creating materials, it may become difficult to identify the appropriate and standard elements you’re looking for.

Why?

By selecting which groups have access to selected saved elements, it will cut down on the navigation time each user experiences when using the Report Builder app because there will be less folders to search through.

How?

To limit the access of custom saved elements:

Select the pencil icon when hovering over the name of the element.

After selecting the pencil icon, select the “Access” option in the bottom left corner of the new window.

After selecting “Access,” the ability to update the visibility of the element will become available.

To ensure that the only person that has access to this element is yourself, all levels should be cleared of access except for the “User” option under “Access Level” on the left side of the window.

Best Practices:

Below are some tips for different user types within the Report Builder app.

Login Level: should never be used for capturing saved elements, as any elements saved at this level will be available to all users for the access level assigned. For example, if an element is saved at the Advisor level, all Advisor level users using Orion will have access.

Role: should only be used for instances where a specific group of users should have access to the specified saved element.   

User: should be used for any custom saved elements where the user has requested that they not be shared.

The Reporting Team is standing by! If you need additional guidance, feel free to contact us at reporting@orionadvisor.com

0716-OAS-7/15/2019

Expert Help at Every Turn

At Orion, we’re committed to helping you grow your business with access to innovative technologies and endless learning opportunities. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll highlight several ways to engage with Orion so we can help you on your journey to success.

What?

Have you ever been working in an Orion app only to run into a small issue that required a quick solution? Have you ever had an issue but didn’t know who to contact for assistance? We want you to know we’re always ready to help!

Why?

Staying engaged with Orion will increase your operational efficiencies and create a better user experience. There’s a plethora of ways to interact and engage with Orion. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to connect!

How?

With phone and chat lines, launch events, Ascent conferences and more, opportunities for learning abound!

In Person

Chat, Phone, Email, & Co-browsing – Get support and answers in real-time access to our team, however is most convenient for you.

Orion Launch Events – Meet our team of specialists at our headquarters in Omaha to learn how to jump start your successful adoption of our technology.

Strategic Consultants – Take a deeper dive with a dedicated Orion expert, responsible for working collaboratively to implement best practices and custom workflows, unique to the way you run your business.

SME teams – Receive direct access to teams Subject Matter Expert (SME), specializing in Reporting, Billing, Trading, Cost Basis, Performance, Compliance, and more.

Within Orion Connect

Orion Support – Access the most up-to-date support articles and webinars, see your open service requests, initiate conversations with the Orion team, and more.

AssistMe – View on-screen tutorials that show you how to navigate the system and accomplish tasks more quickly.

Ascent Online Training Platform – Train yourself on Orion’s robust tools—at your own pace—with videos and PDF guides.

Live Weekly Webinars- Register for webinars—hosted by our expert Subject Matter Expert (SME) teams—offering best practices, tech tips, and insights into upcoming product innovations.

Ascent Road Show Events

Ready to take your Orion learning to the next level? Our Ascent on the Road tour takes you beyond platform training with opportunities to attend hands-on break out sessions, learn from the industry’s best and brightest advisors, and connect with our integration partners. Join us September 4th– 6th in Denver for a conference experience like no other!

Seats are filling up fast, so make sure to REGISTER today!

We look forward to connecting with you. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our Platform Support Team at success@orionadvisor.com

0689-OAS-7/9/2019

Taking Advantage of the Orion Integrations Center

Partner integrations are a vital part of Orion’s technology offering. The ability to aggregate data from many different sources helps you save time and streamline your reporting process. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll look at the Orion Integrations Center, which provides quick facts about Orion partners and integrations support.

What?

Have you ever had a question about an integration but had no idea where to turn? The Integrations Center is here to help! Here, you can find helpful information and navigate quick solutions for your Orion integration needs.

How?

To access the Integrations Center:

  1. Launch the Integrations app in Orion Connect.

 

  1. Here, you can see a list of the integration partners that Orion works with. If you know which partner you are looking for, you can either scroll down to the partner’s tile or search for it in the search menu on the right side of the page.

 

  1. Once you have found the integration you’re looking for, click on the Learn More link to bring up the information page.

 

  1. From this page, you will see information about the integration partner, including a basic overview of services, integration points with Orion, screenshots, support details, videos, and other various resources.

If you still require help, our experts are standing by! You can contact the Integrations Center at integrations@orionadvisor.com

0673-OAS-7/2/2019

Changing Account Numbers in Portfolio Audit

When you need help, you can trust Orion’s team of experts to provide solutions and get you up and running quickly. But, there are many situations where you can save time by making a change yourself. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to change an account number within the Portfolio Audit app.

What?

Occasionally, an account number may get entered incorrectly. Never fear! This is a simple fix if the account is not downloading or doesn’t already have assets in it. (If the account does have assets, you can still correct the account number with a few additional steps).

Why?

If you have created a new account manually or via the New Account Wizard, and either entered the account number incorrectly or did not have the account number on hand, you can go ahead and create the account, and then go back later to add the account number.

How?

There are two ways to change the account number in Portfolio Audit:

If there are NO assets in the account:

  1. Launch the Portfolio Audit app
  2. Navigate to the Account level.
  3. Right-click>Edit>Billing Section
  4. Click on the General Tab, then Custodial Account Number (on the right-hand side).
  5. Input the correct account number.

If there ARE assets in the account:

  1. Launch the Portfolio Audit app
  2. Navigate to the Account level.
  3. Find the account, then right-click Asset Level.
  4. From here, you’ll need to go into each asset.
  5. Right-click on the asset and click Edit>General Tab>Account Number.
  6. Input the correct account number.

If you still require help, our experts are standing by! Just contact the Platform Support team at success@orionadvisor.com

More Learning Opportunities

Our quarter-end billing webinar is happening this week!

Join us this Thursday for our webinar “Prepare for Quarter End Billing”, to learn how to run a billing forecast, reconcile audit files, and gain the essential tools you need for a successful quarter-end billing process!

0651-OAS-6/24/2019

Product Creation is Now in Your Hands!

At Orion, we’re all about providing custom tech solutions to help you grow your business. Now, we’re putting the power of customization in your hands! In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to build your own products in the Products and Prices app.

What?

Do you need to create and maintain a custom index or benchmark? Or maybe you want to manually manage an SMA product? How about a custom placeholder asset? Using the Product and Prices app, you can do it all, and we’ll show you how!

Why?

In the past, new products were created by a member of the Products and Prices team — potentially resulting in duplicative efforts if members of the Orion team and Orion advisors were both entering product specifications for the same request.

To improve the product creation experience, we’ve added tools to the Product and Prices app and in the Account Composer app that allow you to create products in our system for your own database.

How?

To create products in the Products and Pricing app:

  1. Launch the Products and Pricing app.
  2. Navigate to “Search Local Products.”
  3. In the “Actions” drop-down, click “Add Advisor Product.”
  4. From there, click the “Global” tab.
  5. Now you can fill in the product details.

Helpful Resources

If you’d like to dig deeper into the Products and Pricing app, we have several post-login resources to help you on your quest!

Check out our Creating Manual Products webinar.

To see how to set up products as indexes, be sure to read “Manual Benchmark Creation and Maintenance”.

Or for a broader look at how to use the new products you create on the Orion platform, check out “Adding a Manual Product to an Account as an Asset”.

More Learning Opportunities

Is your billing process ready for quarter end?

Join our webinar, “Prepare for Quarter End Billing” on June 27th, to learn how to run a billing forecast, reconcile audit files, and gain the essential tools you need for a successful quarter-end billing process!

If you have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact our Products and Pricing team at productprices_fixedincome@orionadvisor.com

0624-OAS-6/17/2019

 

Viewing Cost Basis by Asset in Portfolio Audit

With so much functionality, Portfolio Audit is one of, if not the most, popular app in Orion Connect. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll explore how to view cost basis by asset within the Portfolio Audit app.

What?

Keeping track of an asset’s cost is a crucial step in securities reporting. The cost basis of an asset shows whether the investment had a loss or gain and what the tax consequences for the investor will be.

Within the Portfolio Audit app, you can explore the cost basis of an asset by adding the “Include Cost Basis Tool.”

Why?

Using the “Include Cost Basis Tool” gives you a quick look at the asset’s cost basis without having to run a report or data query, saving you time and streamlining efficiency.

How?

To access the “Include Cost Basis Tool:”

  1. Launch the Portfolio Audit app
  2. Navigate to a Household or an Account.
  3. Once you are at the Household or Account level, right-click and choose “Assets.”
  4. From there, add the “Cost Basis” column to your view.
  5. Navigate to the right side of your screen and click on the “Columns” dropdown, then select “show disabled columns.” Then check the box for the Cost Basis column.
  6. Next, select the gear tab on the top right of the screen, and set “Include Cost Basis” to “Yes.”

From here, you can save a new view so that Cost Basis will be included each time you load the Assets screen.

Congratulations on saving time and energy with the Portfolio Audit app!

More Learning Opportunities

Is your billing process ready for quarter end?

During our webinar on June 27th, Orion Billing Subject Matter Experts will showcase some essential tools for a successful quarter-end billing process. Make plans to join us to learn about Billing Audits, how to run a billing forecast, reconcile audit files, and more!

Register HERE

If you have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact our Platform Support team at platform@orionadvisor.com

0600-OAS-6/11/2019

 

Tax Loss Harvesting Opportunities with Eclipse & ASTRO

Whether we like it or not, taxes are part of the investing experience. Though we can’t avoid them completely, there are ways to properly manage the impact of taxes on client portfolios. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll explore the Tax Loss Harvesting Tools available in Eclipse trading and ASTRO, two premier Orion products built to provide tax-efficient portfolio solutions.

What?

Tax loss harvesting is the practice of selling a security at a loss to offset taxes on gains and income. The sold security is replaced by one with similar characteristics, so your client’s asset allocation and risk level stays consistent. Tax loss harvesting is usually most effective during volatile markets when selling at a loss during a downturn can help to offset gains during recoveries.

Using Eclipse trading and ASTRO, you can recognize tax loss harvesting opportunities for your clients’ portfolios, helping reduce the impact of taxes on long-term assets.

Why?

In Eclipse trading, there are settings to identify these opportunities, and the interactive dashboard will alert you to portfolios that have tax loss harvesting opportunities when a portfolio meets the criteria for the setting. After reviewing the portfolios, running the TLH Trade Tool will propose buy and sell trades, based on the alternate securities selected. You can then review and decide to execute on the proposed trades from the Orders Grid.

ASTRO allows you to be tax aware and reduce risk while transitioning new accounts, replicating an index, or implementing a new target strategy using individual securities.

How?

The set up for using the Tax Loss Harvesting Tool in Eclipse trading can be done in four easy steps:

  1. Setting the preferences and alternate securities
  2. Review the interactive dashboard
  3. Run the Tax Loss Harvesting Tool
  4. Review and execute the proposed trades

The Tax Loss Harvesting settings in ASTRO allow you to harvest:

  1. Short Term Losses
  2. Long Term Losses
  3. Lots that are greater than a $ or %

Learn More

If you’re interested in what Eclipse trading and ASTRO can do for your clients, join our upcoming webinars!

ASTRO: June 19 11:00 AM CT

Eclipse trading: June 25 11:00 AM CT

 

If you have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact our Platform Support team at platform@orionadvisor.com

0571-OAS-6/4/2019

Sharing Case Messages with Additional Contacts

At Orion, we believe in having complete transparency with our advisors, which is why all open support cases are available for you to track in the Orion Support app. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll explore Orion’s communication process for support cases, and how you can securely share case messages with a third-party.

What?

When new messages are posted on a case from Orion support, rather than sending the message via email, a secure message record is created and posted to the case in Orion’s Salesforce system. The recipient(s) of the message will receive an email notification containing the case number and a link to log into Orion Support to view the message.

After Orion’s May 2019 Product Release, you can now include additional contacts to receive email notifications anytime the case is updated with a new message. This is the equivalent of “cc’ing” another party on an email.

Why?

This security enhancement prevents PII (Personal Identifiable Information) such as client names and account numbers from being sent via email. Instead, the messages are passed securely through Orion’s system.

How?

Case Messaging Workflow:

  1. You post a new message to a case in Orion Support.
  2. The Orion case owner will receive an email notification stating that a new case comment has been posted.
  3. The Orion case owner will locate the case in Salesforce and click on “Case Messages” to view the message.
  4. The Orion case owner will reply by creating a new case message in Salesforce.
  5. You will receive an email notification that a message has been posted with a link to log in and view the case.

To add CC Contacts on the case:

  1. Navigate to the Orion Support app.
  2. Open the app and navigate to “Messages.” Only users with access to cases will be able to add CC Contacts.
  3. Input the contact information for the new recipient.

Well, that was easy! Now, additional parties like a broker-dealer or practice partner can securely receive messages from the Orion Support Team.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact our Platform Support team: platform@orionadvisor.com

0535-OAS-5/28/2019