Welcome to Financial Advisor IQ

DOL Rule Inspires Orion’s New Fee Benchmarker 

January 3, 2017

Orion Advisor Services, a portfolio accounting service provider to RIAs, is out with a fee-benchmarking tool that lets FAs filter accounts by size and type of account as well as services provided in the account.

The new widget is meant to help advisors tell if an account is discretionary or not, qualified or not, IRA or not, and how big it is. Then it lets them compare the account’s fees to “over a million other” accounts as a benchmarker.

Orion is pitching its fee analyzer as tool for easier compliance with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which is set to take effect in April. The rule stipulates advisors put their clients’ interest first when dealing with retirement accounts.

By most accounts, that’s not a stretch for RIA-based advisors, who are fiduciaries by definition.

But the DOL rule also requires FAs to show they’re charging reasonable fees for the services they provide — with that standard, as Orion puts it in a press release, “determined according to a market comparison.”

That’s where the Orion widget comes in, says the company.

“Orion is doing everything to help prepare its clients for the change in regulation,” the firm’s CEO Eric Clarke says in the press release. “The new fee-benchmarking tool will help advisors see how their fees compare to the industry, ensuring they are charging fair, reasonable fees.”

Omaha, Neb.-based Orion works with around 950 firms and more than 1.5 million accounts.

By Thomas Coyle