Brinker FAQ

Orion Advisor Solutions Merges with Brinker Capital Inc., Backed by Investment Support from TA Associates and Genstar Capital

Orion Advisor Solutions has merged with one of the industry’s most successful investment management firms, Brinker Capital Inc., which supports over 5,500 financial advisors and 60,000 end investors with $25B in AUM.

When will the transactions be complete?
The Brinker merger deal was signed on June 26, 2020 and following a period for standard legal filings, the deal closed September 24, 2020. Further specifics about this deal will not be disclosed.
Why did TA Associates decide to reinvest in Orion alongside Genstar Capital at this time?
Since TA Associates first became majority owners of Orion in 2015, the partnership has been a mutually beneficial one, defined by trust, collaboration, and a shared vision for the future.Under TA Associates’ guidance over these last five years, Orion has grown to employ 850+ team members across six office locations, support 2,000 advisory firms’ businesses and reach $1 trillion in assets under administration. Similarly, over the past five years, members of our executive team have cultivated relationships with Genstar Capital, a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high-quality companies for over 30 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Genstar currently has approximately $19 billion of assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the financial services, healthcare, industrial, and software industries.

Additionally, because Genstar currently has other successful, growth-driven wealth management firms within their portfolio, they are uniquely positioned to help Orion drive toward supporting the needs of modern advisory firms and the investors they serve.

Orion has raised the bar for delivering portfolio accounting technology to independent fiduciary advisors and is taking steps to grow their business beyond helping advisors achieve operational efficiency through their tech-enabled fiduciary framework: Prospect, Plan, Invest and Achieve. Both TA Associates and Genstar Capital saw the potential to drive faster, more aggressive growth through a renewed and combined investment.

Who is Brinker Capital Inc.?
Founded in 1987 by Charles Widger, Brinker Capital is a privately-held investment management firm headquartered in Berwyn, PA, just a short drive southwest of the existing Orion office in King of Prussia, PA, in an area where Orion already enjoys a strong presence among their clients.

As one of the industry’s most successful investment management firms, Brinker Capital supports over 5,500 financial advisors and 60,000 end investors, and more than $25 billion in assets under management. With a focus on wealth creation and management, Brinker Capital serves financial advisors and their clients by providing high-quality investment manager due diligence, asset allocation, portfolio construction, and client communication services.

Who is GenStar Capital?
Over the past five years, members of Orion’s executive team have cultivated relationships with Genstar Capital, a SEC regulated, leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high-quality companies for over 30 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with a diversified pool of institutional, U.S based investors to transform its portfolio companies into industry-leading businesses. Genstar currently has approximately $19 billion of assets under management and targets investments focused on targeted segments of the financial services, healthcare, industrial, and software industries.

Additionally, because Genstar currently has other successful, growth-driven wealth management firms within their portfolio, they are uniquely positioned to help Orion drive toward supporting the needs of modern advisory firms and the investors they serve.

Why did TA Associates and Genstar Capital decide to back Orion’s merger with Brinker Capital?
The decision to pursue a merger with Brinker Capital marks the next phase of Orion’s comprehensive vision to better enable the advisor-client relationship and reflects Orion’s drive to expand their business to support independent and growth-minded advisors and firms across all industry verticals and segments. Brinker Capital brings deep and valuable expertise in a multi-asset class investment philosophy to support a range of evolving investor needs, including wealth accumulation, risk-based and income-oriented strategies, among others. Additionally, their high-touch, customized investment portfolio complements Orion’s open architecture framework and bolsters their capabilities across the full spectrum of asset management options available to advisory firms.

This new partnership will make it easier and more attainable for independent and growth-minded advisors and firms to achieve their unique vision for success by expanding the distribution of technology, investment solutions, and most importantly, a complete end-to-end process created to transform the advisor-client relationship.

How does the Brinker Capital merger support Orion’s ability to achieve our long-term vision?
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 providing 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 Lab, providing 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 offering 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. Brinker Capital’s Destinations mutual fund portfolios have more than $12 billion in assets and a 25-year track record.

What’s more, Brinker Capital will be added to Orion’s Communities model marketplace in October 2020, offering their tech advisors access to even more leading strategies with the flexibility to make more intelligent, personalized investment decisions for their clients.

Founder Charles Widger built Brinker Capital’s business on a disciplined yet dynamic approach to investment management, emphasizing investor returns over investment returns—a philosophy that aligns well with Orion’s vision to better enable the advisor-client relationship.

How will Brinker Capital’s advisors benefit from Orion’s solutions?
In early 2021, Brinker Capital clients will transition to Orion Portfolio Solutions, granting them access to a full suite of technology and additional investment strategy solutions.

With a completely reimagined and integrated advisor portal, Element, as well as a wide range of additional investment options and value-add tools for prospecting, marketing, and financial planning, Orion Portfolio Solutions will help Brinker Capital’s clients continue to build strong and profitable financial advisory businesses, while also maintaining healthy and long-lasting investor relationships.

How will Brinker Capital fit into Orion’s tech-enabled fiduciary framework?
Overall, Orion sees the Brinker Capital merger as an opportunity to increase the value behind our investment solutions by pairing our existing open architecture TAMP with Brinker Capital’s deep and tenured investment expertise and strong, proprietary asset management strategies and capabilities.

Brinker Capital will also be further integrated into the Orion brand family as the investment management capabilities offered by Brinker Capital and CLS Investments are brought together and renamed “Brinker Capital Investments,” thus connecting two of the industry’s most well-respected—and tenured—investment management teams to support the evolving needs of advisors and investors. Brinker Capital’s disciplined yet dynamic approach to investment management and prioritization of investor returns over investment returns aligns well with our own commitment to empower fiduciary advisors.

How will the Orion and Brinker Capital teams come together?
Orion’s Eric Clarke will lead as CEO of the combined business. Noreen Beaman will become the president of Brinker Capital Investments, fusing Brinker Capital’s in-house investment management resources with those of CLS Investments. Charles Widger, founder of Brinker Capital, will remain an investor and strategic advisor for the combined business. Full details around how the teams will come together will be communicated as they’re finalized.
Will these changes impact Orion advisors’ day-to-day service and technology experience?
Because TA Associates is continuing their investment in Orion, the ownership transition should be executed seamlessly, with no disruption to the way Orion currently operates and supports advisors’ growth goals.
What is Orion’s new vision for the future?
Orion has successfully set the bar for delivering a portfolio accounting and back-office technology experience for independent fiduciary advisors over the past 20 years, and now sees a tremendous opportunity to further elevate the functionality of, and most importantly, the connectivity between, the tools and resources advisors rely on every day by offering a tech-enabled fiduciary framework. This framework—based on a process that enables Orion advisors to Prospect, Plan, Invest, and Achieve within a single, connected experience—creates the ideal advisor-client journey.

Through the reinvestment from TA Associates and Genstar, along with the merger with Brinker Capital, Orion is one step closer to delivering the holy grail of an advisory relationship: A fluid and flexible model to attract new investors, connect goals more meaningfully to investment strategies and outcomes, and ultimately track progress towards their unique definition of financial success.

We will be communicating more on this framework and Orion’s future company vision in the weeks and months to come.

Where can I find more information about Brinker Capital and the investment offering they’re bringing to the Orion platform?
We encourage you to learn more about Brinker Capital’s offerings through the links below:

If I have specific questions about how this will affect my firm, who should I talk to?
Please reach out to your existing primary point-of-contact at Orion or Brinker Capital. If they are unable to answer your question, they will direct you to someone who can. Or feel free to submit your questions directly to Kelly Waltrich at info@orion.com.
Will Brinker Capital’s High-Net-Worth offering compete with my firm’s efforts to attract and serve these types of investors?
No, it will not. The Brinker High-Net-Worth offering will be advisor driven and in turn will enhance the service you provide to this segment of investors by providing you with access to even more dedicated portfolio management experts, tax management capabilities and specialized service offerings, including ESG, banking and lending, and trust services.
What does this mean for the future of Orion Advisor Tech?
Powering advisors across every step of the client journey has long been at the core of Orion’s vision–and to best deliver on this promise, we’ve maintained our commitment to push the boundaries of traditional advisor tech.

In the last year alone, we’ve prioritized development around our full-service marketing automation technology, Market*r, and acquisition of the Advizr financial planning technology, to the release of Communities and the delivery of a new, best-of-breed advisor portal, Element. As we look to the future, there are no plans to slow down.

This new partnership between Orion and Brinker Capital not only allows our business to take the next step in expanding the distribution of our technology and investment solutions to a greater number of independent and growth-minded advisors and firms. We also see this as an opportunity to increase the value behind the “Invest” pillar of our proven process by leveraging Orion’s technology to make the critical connections between investment strategies and ways to better focus on investors’ unique goals, appetite for risk and needs for comprehensive financial plans.

As a CLS Investments client, how does fund consolidation around this merger impact me?
As we work to bring our businesses together, we expect there will be a need for strategy consolidation. Work is underway to evaluate the strongest investment strategy options that we’ll be delivering to you and your clients under the combined Brinker Capital Investments brand. As we solidify these details we will proactively communicate any changes.
Will this merger impact the existing safeguards Orion has in place around our data?
This transaction will not have any impact on your client data and Orion will continue to comply with the terms of its privacy policy which prohibit Orion from sharing your client data unless consented to by you or unless utilized internally for the sole purpose of providing the services we’re obligated to provide under our agreement with you.
What communication, if any, will be sent to our clients around the merger and changes to Orion’s ownership?
The week of July 6, 2020 a “Change of Control” notice was distributed to the clients of Orion Portfolio Solutions and CLS Investments advisors, providing a high level overview of the transaction and partnership, as well as the negative consent assumed through continued business with Orion Portfolio Solutions or CLS Investments. This process is required under federal securities laws and no action is required by you or your clients.

If your clients are invested in a strategy that utilizes the AdvisorOne Funds, they should have received a notice and subsequent proxy in early August.

For RIAs that retain investment management functions in house, how will this merger impact them?
At Orion, we’ve enabled our technology and suite of investment capabilities to be tailored to the individual needs of every unique advisory model. RIAs who currently retain investment management functions in house, they will continue to have the flexibility and choice behind how they’d like to best leverage the breadth of solutions in alignment to their existing capabilities.
How does this merger and focus on investment management align with Orion’s acquisition of Advizr (now Orion Planning) last year?
It’s no secret that there has been a major shift in how fiduciary advisors are being expected to deliver investment advice. No longer is it enough to focus on investment returns, but instead, there is growing expectation to offer comprehensive planning experiences that ultimately measure success based on progress towards investors’ unique financial goals.

Orion’s decision to acquire Advizr last year was just the first step in helping our advisors deliver this type of experience by connecting a modern and collaborative goals-led financial planning tool directly to investment strategies that tie back to investors’ unique goals and appetite for risk. And now, the merger with Brinker Capital strengthens our investment management solutions, ultimately, facilitating stronger advisor-client relationships.

2000-OAS-6/26/2020