Climbing the advice value chain: why the Orion-Jemstep tie-up makes sense
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In my last post I talked about the blending of real life and automated advice, and the benefits a hybridized model offer the advisor. Here I discuss the synergies that inform the partnership between portfolio reporting system provider Orion Advisor Services and automated investments advisor Jemstep. Jemstep has led the automated advice space in recognizing the importance of getting a complete view of the client's assets, regardless of where they are custodied. This kind of a 360 degree view empowers the advisor, who no longer needs to solicit his client for more assets, but can advise (increasingly often, charge a fee) on those held away. Orion has won here as well. The ability to offer online account opening and visibility onto held away assets will be immediately accretive to Orion's more than 500 RIA clients. At the same time, the partnership gives Orion a toehold in the automated advice business. Technology advantages are ephemeral, and this move up the advice value chain will help mitigate the risk of commoditization, a danger that lurks behind even the most cutting edge product or service.