In June of 2022, Orion Advisor Solutions, a provider of wealthtech products, completed its acquisition of Redtail Technology, a web-based client relationship management (CRM) software firm, touting that the union would provide wealth management firms and their advisors with a “most-in-one” technology suite.
At first blush, this might seem a welcome solution for wealth management firms hungry for a fully integrated CRM solution. However, that “most-in-one” approach could very well be the Achille’s heal for the combined Orion / Redtail entity.
The downside of a “most-in-one” approach
As any wealth management firm and their advisors will tell you, the ability to be flexible and nimble is key to winning in the constantly evolving wealth management space, especially when it comes to technology. Clients expect real-time adaptability and best-in-class technology solutions to meet their needs. That requires the ability to source and integrate the best solutions, agnostic of the firm or vendor offering them, which is contrary to what the Orion / Redtail union is promoting. Their “most-in-one” approach sounds great, but it could “tie the hands” of wealth management firms and advisors who want “best-of-breed” solutions and don’t want to be locked in to just one vendor and a limited scope of choices. In fact, according to a 2021 Gartner study, an “all-in-one advisor desktop platform” ranked the lowest among budget priorities for wealth managers.
The need for full integration is now
It will, understandably, take time for Orion and Redtail to be fully integrated in a way that truly benefits their client firms and their advisors. The integration of two entities can be a years-long endeavor. As Orion itself states in the press release announcing the acquisition, “For the foreseeable future, Redtail will continue operations as a stand-alone business.” However, advisors and their firms require a truly holistic and deeply integrated CRM solution today, not at some unknown date in the future.
NexJ’s long history of deep integration
At NexJ, integration is in our DNA. For nearly 20 years, we’ve been singularly focused on building AI-driven Integrated Advisor Desktops (IADs) that seamlessly bring together all of the data sources advisors need to satisfy clients and build their businesses. Our approach allows client firms to build their tech stacks in a more evolutionary fashion and at a cadence that fits their business needs. There is not the pressure to do it all at once, and with just one vendor. Instead, they enjoy the freedom and flexibility to choose the tools that best fit their business needs at any given time, including existing assets that are familiar and working well. Doing so allows those firms to present a truly unique and differentiated offering to advisors and clients alike.