Financial SoftwareOrion Advisor Solutions and Brinker Capital to Merge With Support From Genstar Capital and TA Associates

With new financial partner Genstar and existing financial partner TA reinvesting, Orion and Brinker Capital together are positioned to transform the future of the advisor-client relationship through a single, seamless, technology-driven experience, becoming the platform of choice for all growth-focused advisory firms.
BusinessWire BusinessWireJune 29, 202014 min

Orion Advisor Solutions, the premier provider of the tech-enabled fiduciary framework that empowers financial advisors to Prospect, Plan, Invest, and Achieve within a single, connected experience; and Brinker Capital, a premier investment management company serving advisors at insurance broker-dealers and independent broker-dealers; today announced they will join forces to create a combined technology and TAMP provider enabling independent financial advisors to grow their businesses, serve their clients, and win in the marketplace. Genstar Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, will invest in the combined business, as will Orion’s existing financial partner, global growth private equity firm TA Associates. Brinker Capital’s founder, Charles Widger, and other members of Brinker Capital’s management, including Noreen D. Beaman, CEO, will invest in the combined business, alongside continued investment from Eric Clarke, Orion’s CEO, and the rest of the Orion team. This newly formed partnership places the combined business in a position to seize new opportunities based on product excellence, channel breadth, and talented senior leadership.Fintech News

“Over the past 30 years since founding Brinker Capital, we have built the company into one of the nation’s largest independent investment management companies by consistently prioritizing investor returns over investment returns,” said Widger. “We are excited to have found a partner in Orion that understands our business and shares the same cultural commitment to providing excellence in investment management goals and outcomes for financial advisors and investors.”

“The entire team at Orion is excited by the enhanced capabilities that Brinker Capital’s team brings to the table, and we welcome Genstar Capital as a major shareholder alongside TA Associates and our employees,” said Clarke. “The future of Orion is incredibly bright, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving financial advisors with our world-class capabilities.”

Brinker Capital Brings Investment Power to Orion Platform

In addition to their respected and tenured investment management capabilities, the decision to merge with Brinker Capital was based on both existing and potential opportunities to provide clients with access to differentiated solutions and expertise, including Brinker Capital’s:

  • Comprehensive High-Net-Worth Offering, through its Wealth Advisory service, which provides advisors with a bespoke investment solution to meet the specialized needs of high-net-worth and institutional investors. The offering includes access to a dedicated portfolio management team, tax management, and specialized service offerings, including ESG, banking and lending, and trust services.
  • Behavioral Innovation Labproviding advisors with the tools, training, and technology for the practical application of behavioral finance — an increasingly popular and innovative approach for offering financial advice and delivering a tailored client experience that, with the support of Orion, will become a predictive model for identifying points within the advisor-client relationship that need attention, especially during times of great market volatility.
  • Proprietary Investment Strategies, deep investment expertise and capabilities, most notably utilizing an institutional multi-asset class investment approach that applies the principles of diversification, innovation, and active management to help investors achieve better outcomes. The Destinations mutual fund portfolios have more than $12 billion in assets and a 25-year track record.

Brinker Capital’s investment management capabilities will be unified with those of CLS Investments, and both will be integrated into the Orion brand family as “Brinker Capital Investments.” Repositioning CLS Investments as part of Brinker Capital leverages the great synergies that exist between the two companies, bringing together two of the industry’s most well-respected — and tenured — investment management businesses. Beaman will become the president of the combined in-house investment manager, as well as a member of Orion’s board of directors.

”We are entering this transaction from a position of strength, and the growth across our key product areas continues to demonstrate success,” said Beaman. “By marrying our proprietary strategies with Orion’s best-in-class technology and open-architecture investment platform, we’ll be combining our unique strengths to enable clients working with both of our companies to continue building strong, profitable, and future-ready advisory businesses.”

Continued Support From TA

Since 2015, when TA Associates became the majority owner of Orion, Orion has successfully set the bar for delivering portfolio accounting technology to independent fiduciary advisors. Guided by TA’s strategic contributions over the past five years, Orion has taken steps to grow their business beyond helping advisors achieve operational efficiency through the delivery of a number of key initiatives, each aligning with a pillar of their tech-enabled fiduciary framework:

  • Prospect: The launch of Market*r, a marketing-automation technology with built-in omnichannel campaign content designed to maximize client acquisition and engagement.
  • Plan: Acquisition of Advizr’s planning engine, now Orion Planning, to highlight the importance of delivering holistic advice and drive a measurable increase in financial planning engagement.
  • Invest: Acquisition of FTJ FundChoice, now Orion Portfolio Solutions; the release of Orion Communities, and now the merger with Brinker Capital, all critical components in providing advisors with access to a range of advisor-managed to fully outsourced asset management solutions.
  • Achieve: The reimagining of Orion’s next-generation user interface to provide advisors with the valuable insights they need to identify opportunities for growth.

Orion’s expanded vision has resulted in the company employing more than 850 team members across six office locations, supporting 2,000 advisory firms’ businesses and reaching $1 trillion in assets under administration, representing 364% growth in AUA since 2015.

“We have been incredibly fortunate to partner with Eric Clarke and the Orion team over the past five years,” said Roy Burns, a managing director at TA Associates and a member of Orion’s board of directors. “Orion has become a leading technology provider to RIAs and, through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, has expanded its markets to serve independent broker-dealers and banks.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of Orion’s continued momentum and look forward to partnering with management and Genstar on Orion’s merger with Brinker and the future strategic growth of the combined entity,” said Todd Crockett, a managing director at TA Associates who will also remain a member of the board.

A Fresh Perspective With Genstar

“We have extensive experience investing in wealth management and financial technology businesses that show patterns of success, and we believe both Brinker and Orion fit that bill,” said Tony Salewski, managing director of Genstar. “We believe that with our efforts to bring the two firms together, we’ll be able to redefine the wealth management industry and capitalize on the powerful market growth trends favoring the merger of these two industry-leading companies.”

Salewski and Sid Ramakrishnan, principal of Genstar, will join the company’s board.

“By combining the strong foundation we’ve built with TA, which knows and understands the intricacies of our business and our clients, with the ability to introduce Genstar’s fresh new perspective, we see a clear path to realizing our future vision to create a fluid and flexible model to attract new investors, connect goals more meaningfully to investment strategies and outcomes, and ultimately track progress toward their unique definition of financial success,” added Clarke. “We couldn’t be more excited about the important role the merger with Brinker Capital plays in our journey to get there and look forward to welcoming Noreen and the team to Orion.”

To learn more about the details and Orion’s future vision furthered by the merger with Brinker Capital, visit our website and sign up to attend our upcoming webinar July 15 at 1:00 p.m. CT.

The legal agreements were signed June 26, 2020. Following a period for customary legal filings, both deals are expected to close in Q3 of this year.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to Orion on the Genstar and TA investment. Raymond James and Credit Suisse served as financial co-advisors to Orion and TA on the merger with Brinker. Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisor to Orion and TA. UBS Investment Bank and Ardea Partners served as financial advisors to Genstar. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal advisor to Genstar.

Moelis & Company LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Brinker Capital. Hinckley Allen and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisor to Brinker Capital.

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