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Author Archives: Kevin Zemann

Kevin Zemann serves as Compliance Manager for Orion. Kevin enjoys spending time with his family, helping others, and is addicted to learning.
How The LexisNexis Integration Helps You Manage OFAC Compliance


Orion’s new integration with LexisNexis will be used to help you efficiently screen certain client information against the prohibited person and prohibited entity lists that are published by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department.

When you set up a LexisNexis integration, the review process will automatically determine if any of your clients match a person on either list. This process, which would otherwise be a manual review, can result in significant time savings for your compliance team.

The review process is required of Banks and some Non-bank entities under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Currently, Registered Investment Advisers are not subject to the requirements, as they do not fall under the definition of a financial institution under this rule. However, it is expected that this status will change in the future and it may be in your firm’s best interest to start preparing now.   

Implementing a check of your client identification process can be an added risk management tool for your firm.

Here’s how to get started with the integration.

How the Integration Works

  1. You will have the option to sign up for the LexisNexis solution through your Orion support team.
  2. When signing up, you will have the option to schedule new accounts and all existing accounts as you wish. If you want to scrub all new accounts nightly, and all accounts annually, you will have that option.
  3. Once signed up, Orion will batch your client information and send it to LexisNexis based upon the schedule provided (nightly, weekly, etc.).
  4. LexisNexis will compare your client information against the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department lists and return results or alerts to Orion.
  5. Orion will display those results in the Orion Connect compliance apps.
  6. Your firm will review the results and if you have an alert, determine if any alerts are a false positive. If so, you can report that in Orion. That information will be passed back to LexisNexis so that the same alert doesn’t fire in the future.
  7. In the event that one of your clients is, in fact, on one of the prohibited lists, you will need to contact the appropriate authorities.
  8. You  will have the ability to attach notes to the record and eventually close the record at the end of your review.

We’re excited to share the LexisNexis integration with you. If you would like more information, log into the Integrations Group in Orion Social and search for LexisNexis under available integrations.

Basic Training on What You Need to Do with Form 13F

Despite the reference to 13F and basic training, this article has nothing at all to do with the military forward observers who aid artillery units in identifying and locating their mark.  

However, you’re in luck if you came here hoping to learn more about the regulatory filing requirements under Section 13F of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and how Orion helps you to hit your compliance mark.

Let’s approach this topic using 5 key questions: Who, What, When, Where, and How.

Who – Who is required to file?

Advisors who exercise investment discretion over $100,000,000 or more of 13F securities are required to file.

What – What is a 13F security?

Section 13(f) securities are equity securities of a class described in Section 13(d)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act (SEA).  

Shall we look up Section 13(d)(1)? Or should we just rely upon the 13F securities listing that the SEC publishes on a quarterly basis? I agree, let’s take the shortcut and rely upon the list provided by the SEC.  

But, at a high level, the list includes U.S. exchange traded equities, closed end funds, exchange traded funds, certain convertible debt, equity options and warrants.

For you adventurous hikers I recommend the following path; read Section 12 of the SEA (starting on page 111) and read through Section 13, which ends on page 148 of the same. Oh, and you will also want to read section 37(d)(6) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Or, again, you can rely upon the list that the SEC publishes quarterly, which truly is the official list.

When – When must I file Form 13F?

If you’ve never filed before, your first filing will be within 45 days of the end of the calendar year in which you exceeded the $100,000,000 threshold. So, every month you must check whether you exceed the threshold in the prior month. If you have, then you will make your first filing within 45-days after the end of that calendar year, or by February 14th, which (hopefully) everyone remembers is Valentine’s Day.

You are required to make the 13F filing within 45 days after the calendar quarter end for the next three successive quarters. When the filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday, the deadline is the next business day. For 2018, the filing deadlines are:

1st Filing – 1Q 2018 (March) May 15, 2018 (Tuesday)
2nd Filing – 2Q 2018 (June) August 14, 2018 (Tuesday)
3rd Filing – 3Q 2018 (September) November 14, 2018 (Wednesday)
4th Filing – 4Q 2018 (December) February 14, 2019 (Thursday)

Where – Where do I file the Form 13F?

The Form 13F can be filed in paper form or online in the Edgar filing system. Please check the SEC’s website for a copy of the Edgar Filing Manual for details.

How – How does Orion help me with this process?

On a quarterly basis, Orion downloads the most recent 13F securities list from the SEC website. That list is then compared against the securities in your product database to identify which securities match those on the list. We then provide you with a 13F filing requirement query in the Filing section of the Compliance Corner app. When you run this query, you will find out if you are required to file.   

You will also find the 13F Form Report, which provides you with a spreadsheet file you will need to upload to the Edgar filing system.

My Suggested Procedure:

  • Immediately following each calendar month, the designated compliance person will compare the firm’s assets to the SEC’s most current quarterly 13F securities list using Orion’s “FORM 13F Filing Requirement” data query to determine if the Firm has exceeded the $100,000,000 threshold.
  • If it is determined that the firm has exceeded the threshold, the firm will make its first 13(f) filing within 45 days after the calendar year end, or by February 14.
  • The Firm will continue to make quarterly filings prior to the filing deadline for each of the successive three calendar quarters. For specific dates, please refer to the SEC website.
  • The firm will make these filings as described in the rule and will retain the filing records as specified in Section 204-2 of the Advisers Act.  

My Suggested Checklist or Calendar:

Monthly (first of each month)

  • Run Orion’s 13F Filing Requirement query for the previous month end.
  • If results are over $100,000,000 then you should notify appropriate parties, schedule your firm’s first filing for a period after December 31st but before February 14th, and start the process of setting up your access to the SEC’s Edgar filing system.This can take some time so I encourage you to start the process of gaining access shortly after determining you need to file, if you aren’t already a subscriber.

Quarterly (within 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter)

  • If your firm is a “Filer,” you should run Orion’s 13F Form Report and prepare the filing.
  • Use the SEC’s Quick Reference Guide on “How to Create an XML Information Table for Form 13F Using Excel 2010 or 2007” to aid in the conversion of the Excel file to XML.
  • Log into Edgar and file the report.

Keep in mind, these are only suggestions from a person who has no obligation to execute such a procedure. Each firm should take into consideration their own needs when determining the best method and procedures for complying with Form 13F requirements.

Have a compliance question? Log into Orion Social to connect with our support teams or email


The Early Bird Gets The FORM ADV Data Worm

As 2017 draws to a close, we approach a new year full of possibilities. A year of love, joy, and prosperity. And for most Orion clients, it also marks that start of the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right, ADV Update Season! That marvelous 90-day period where we all open our databases to see what the Data Elves left behind.

Have you been naughty or nice when auditing your data? What if the elves saw when you started using that one field as your own personal catch-all? Is that coming back to haunt you? Yes… yes it will.

December 31 marks the end of the fiscal year for 97 percent of Orion clients and kicks off the 90-day countdown to the end of ADV Update Season. For the next 90 days, compliance and operations personnel from across the country will be looking high and low to find the data they need to complete their annual update filing.

Stress levels are up, missing data columns are being sought, and occasionally all-night pizza parties are taking place. Such a frightening experience for just a few small morsels of data.  Unless you are an Orion client.

Here at Orion we like to keep our clients stress free and joyful throughout the ADV Season. That’s why we created the ADV Tab located in the Compliance Corner. With just a push of a button, Orion clients can retrieve the critical FORM ADV data they need to complete their filing.  

It’s nice being an Orion client, where you have the benefit of knowing that these numbers are available at your fingertip.

For more information, contact Orion Compliance at

Managing Client Communication With The New Archive Tool

A consistent theme from regulators and compliance departments across the financial services industry is the need for greater oversight and supervision over their firm’s processes, especially when it comes to client communications.

At Orion, we’re dedicated to identifying ways we can alleviate some of the burden our compliance users face when trying to keep their firm in line with regulatory requirements. Whether you’re an adviser or a broker-dealer, we’re excited to announce the new Archive tool that we’ve developed with your most requested needs in mind.

In today’s post, we’ll help you see how Archive can benefit both advisors and broker-dealers, and then give you a short walkthrough to help you navigate the new tool the first time you launch it.

How Archive Helps Advisors and Broker-Dealers

If you’re an adviser, you should be aware that the SEC recently amended the client communications portion of the books and records rules requirements of Section 204-2 of the Advisers Act, effective October 1, 2017. We recently published a blog that focused on the increased disclosure requirements under the Advisers Act, and how Compliance Corner app updates can help. You can check it out here.

Specifically, the amendments require advisers to maintain all communications, sent or received, containing calculated performance, rate of return, or securities recommendations. Under section 204-2(a)(16) of the Advisers Act, advisers were previously required to maintain the originals if the communication was distributed to ten or more persons.

The amendments remove this ten person condition. So how can you get copies of these reports for your records? The answer is the Archive tool.

If you’re a broker-dealer, Archive can help you too.

Archive is designed to give you additional oversight when it comes to reports either presented or delivered to Clients, including the ability to review the disclosures that were included on such reports.

As for how you can use Archive to accomplish these ends, let’s look at that next.

How to Get Started with Archive

Archive is now available through Orion’s Compliance Corner application. In fact, the next time you log into Compliance Corner, you’ll see it as a tab selection across the top of your screen.

The Archive tool provides a PDF report delivery option that includes a metadata XML file, which can be used to enhance your report review process.

The Orion process will capture all PDF Reports generated from the Orion system and produce a metadata file displaying report data in an XML format. Each night a Zip file (including selected report PDFs + an XML file) will be sent to an SFTP destination of your choice.

The SFTP setup is simple and straightforward. Click the “Add” button, and then enter your SFTP configuration on the next page. Once you’ve saved your credentials, you’ll be ready to receive the nightly Zip file.

This metadata XML file can be used to help you establish logic in your system around specific data points to help you more efficiently review the reports and identify exceptions to your policies and procedures.

Reminder: You can get started with using the Archive tool right now in our Compliance Corner app. For information about these changes, please contact

Regulatory Changes For Advisors That Are More Exciting Than The New Game of Thrones Season

Well, that might not be entirely true, but now I might have your attention.

By now most of you are aware that the SEC approved amendments to increase the disclosure requirements under the Advisers Act.  If you’re not, then I’m sorry to be the one to add to your list of 99 problems.

The good news is that Orion is aware of the changes and is working to make this additional reporting a little easier on you.

Anyway, if after September 30th you go to update your ADV, you will notice significant changes were made to the ADV.  And rather than get into a long boring recap of the specific changes, I think a better use of our time would be to review what Orion is doing to help you with these changes.

If you want a quick overview of the ADV changes, I encourage you to review the red-lined version of the Form ADV that the SEC published.  You can access this document HERE, at the SEC website, or by searching the internet for “ADV Changes Redline”.

In the meantime, let’s focus on the solutions.


First, we are doubling the number of data queries available in the ADV section of the Compliance Corner.  These changes are designed to provide you the information you need to respond to several of the new or modified SEC requirements.

If you haven’t seen the queries before, now would be a great time to become familiar with them.  The current queries return information about your AUM, number of clients, number of non-US clients, etc., all good information to have when you are doing your annual or other-than-annual amendment.

Please note that the quality of the information provided by these queries is really in your control and dependent upon how your Firm is using the data fields included in these queries.

Orion will also be making bond rating information and queries available to assist in some of the additional asset classifications that the SEC is requiring.  Once complete, these will also be available through Compliance Corner.

The Amendments also modify the books and records requirements of Section 204-2 of the Advisers Act.  Specifically, the amendments require Advisers to maintain ALL communications, sent or received, containing calculated performance, rate of return, or securities recommendations.

Under section 204-2(a)(16) of the Advisers Act, Advisers were previously required to maintain the originals if the communication was distributed to 10 or more persons.  The amendments remove this 10 person condition.


For the entire list of changes to the FORM ADV, please read to 17 CFR Parts 275 and 279 Release No. IA-4509 in the Final Rules section on the SEC website.

It’s only 165 pages of government legalese, so grab a snack and an adult beverage.  You’ll also want to take a look at the SEC’s recent “Information Update” issued this month, as this provides some additional clarity around what to do if you need to file an other-than-annual amendment on or after October 1st, but before your next annual filing.

The short answer is, enter zeros in the new fields if you don’t have the data and then add the complete information at your next annual amendment.

If you would like to discuss these changes, please contact Orion at