Your Top Alternative Investment Platform Questions—Answered

Tracking and reporting on alternative investments is often a manual and time-consuming effort for advisory firms. However, with the February 2018 software update, Orion released the Alternative Investment Platform as a way to create a more efficient and user-friendly way for advisors to manage their alternatives.

The Alternative Investment Platform (AIP) helps advisors in these critical ways:

  • Creates all-in-one statements of holistic net worth with alternative and public assets side-by-side
  • Ensures accurate data entry with automated transaction creation
  • Tracks differences of cash flows and capital calls
  • Tracks vintage year for private equity investments
  • Gives advisors a simple and accessible way to view private equity exposure

Orion User Tip: Click here to read our blog post announcing the Alternative Investment Platform.

Now that it has been a few months since we brought the Alternative Investment Platform into Orion Connect,  today’s article will answer some of the most common questions advisors have about this exciting new app.

Your Top Alternative Investment Platform Questions, Answered

Current Orion Users Want to Know…

1. If I’m a current Orion user, will I be able to easily convert my existing alternative accounts and assets into the Alternative Investment Platform?
Absolutely! Work with the SME Reconciliation Service Team to begin your conversion today. We also highlight this process in course four of the Alternative Investment Platform Ascent courses. Log into the Ascent app in Orion Connect and search for Alternative Investment Platform to get started.

2. Do all alternative products and transactions in the Alternative Investment Platform flow into the Orion Client Portal?
They sure do. These assets are 100% native to the Orion system so all reporting functionalities are incorporated when discussing these positions.

3. Will assets and accounts in the Alternative Investment Platform be visible on all sub-reports currently available in Report Builder?
Yes, all assets maintained inside of AIP will be reportable on all Orion sub-reports, where applicable (excluded from sub-reports that pull very specific information such as Fixed Income and Integration partners).

New Orion Users Want to Know…

4. Is it possible to get analysis on a specific alternative product across investor accounts?  For example, can I find the total capital commitment for a product for all investors?
The Alternative Investment Platform by nature will allow you to accomplish feats such as this with the slick grid functionality, as well as being able to export that data to Excel.

5. How does the Orion platform treat alternative assets for billing? For example, are alternative assets commingled with other assets, or are they treated separately?
Our best practice is to have the assets that are maintained inside of AIP reside in their own separate account. However, for billing purposes, you will be able to treat these assets and accounts just like you would any other account or asset in the Orion Connect platform.

6. I currently have alternative products and accounts at my primary custodian and provide monthly value updates using DTCC. Can the Alternative Investment Platform interact with custodians?
Orion is currently testing a data feed integration for alternatives with DTCC. Orion is targeting a summer 2018 release of this feature.

What’s Next for the Alternative Investment Platform…

7. Can the Alternative Investment Platform also be used to simplify portfolio accounting for manual accounts that hold private equity securities?
This is our exact target with the Alternative Investment Platform. AIP allows firms to scale their manual maintenance of alternative investments.

8. Will entering capital call schedules and distribution schedules automatically create transactions on those dates?
Not at this time. This is feedback that Orion has received from some firms and will be looking to incorporate this functionality in the future.

How to Get Started…

9. If I’m a current Orion user, are there any Ascent courses I can take to learn about the new app?
Yes, there are four Ascent courses under the ‘Data Reconciliation’ trail. These four courses will allow you to learn everything there is to know about the Alternative Investment Platform.

10. What is the process for getting this functionality enabled for our users? 
Great question! Each firm’s Rights Admin has Account Composer and AIP available now, they need the following rights for themselves and other users to fully use all functionality inside of AIP.  Navigate to Manage Users > Privileges then the below privileges need to be enabled for complete functionality:

  • Apps > Confirmation – Account Composer
  • Actions > Confirmation – Alternative Investment Platform
  • Records > Portfolio – Portfolio (Household – Account)
  • Records > Portfolio – Assets
  • Records > Portfolio – Transactions
  • Records > Products – Advisor Products

Ready to see how the Alternative Investment Platform can help your firm support your clients? Register now for our April 19th webinar to explore the new platform.

If you currently work with Orion, please log into Orion Social to contact Orion Reporting about getting started with the Alternative Investment Platform, or log into Ascent for new training courses.