Morningstar, Orion and many more vendors unleash tech launches at Schwab IMPACT

The custodian's annual conference is becoming a prime showcase for new adviser-focused software

Nov 16, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

Large industry events like Charles Schwab's annual IMPACT conference, happening this week in Chicago, are increasingly focusing on technology.

Not only are firms integrating third-party software with their brokerage platforms to meet adviser demands, but the rise of low-cost, automated investing has required custodians like Schwab to develop their own technology, both retail-facing and for advisers. Bitcoin and the prospects of cryptocurrencies were even featured in Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger's opening keynote on Wednesday.

(More: Behind the scenes at Schwab Impact.)

As a result, many fintech vendors serving the wealth management industry are timing their news announcements along with conferences. Already at IMPACT, financial planning technology firm eMoney announced a new integration with Schwab Advisor Services' OpenView Gateway, despite eMoney being owned by competing custodian Fidelity.

There's a lot of news to keep track of, so here's a rundown of some of the stories you might have missed.


Morningstar is bringing its 30 years of research and investment data together with its ability to aggregate client financial data to power a new cloud-based practice and portfolio management platform. Announced Thursday at IMPACT, Morningstar says the product, called Morningstar Office Cloud, is designed to replace the legacy systems many advisers still rely on.

Morningstar wants Office Cloud to be advisers' single source for client and investment information to let them streamline workflows, eliminate data-processing complications and essentially bring their entire practice onto one system. Office Cloud also includes a client portal, and advisers can customize the experience via integrations with select third-party software.

"The cloud architecture helps us deliver stronger data security and reduces mundane administrative work through outsourced data management, account aggregation, automatic market data, research updates, and flexible report management tools," Dermot O'Mahony, Morningstar's head of software products, said in a statement.

Office Cloud will be available for advisers in the first quarter of 2018.


The latest update to Orion Advisor Services' portfolio accounting tool allows advisers to execute trades in any app where they already have the Orion Insight app installed. CEO Eric Clarke said this will be most helpful in client relationship management programs like Salesforce and Redtail, where advisers can now execute trades, update models, rebalance portfolios, trade cash and buy or sell securities in client accounts without having to leave the app.

"Allowing advisers to initiate their trading workflow directly from their CRM reduces the amount of time switching between platforms to perform tasks, which could result in potential trade errors," Mr. Clarke said in a statement. Orion is also integrating Insight with Riskalyze to let advisers pull Riskalyze's Retirement RoadMap product into conversations with clients.

"When advisers rely on several technologies to build a cohesive client experience, true platform integration is the only way to ensure investors are met with a seamless and easy-to-understand interface," Mr. Clarke said.


On Wednesday, the Los Angeles-based provider of cloud-based financial programs launched two new lines of apps at IMPACT.

InvestCloud Gray aims to give advisers a modern platform to digitally interact with clients, including a client portal, automated reporting and CRM capabilities. InvestCloud said the apps included in Gray are more cost-effective than competing products.

InvestCloud Neon, meanwhile, delivers automating trading, accounting and middle-office workflows. Neon's apps support the real-time processing of equities, bonds and funds to decrease the time advisers spend on investment operations. The apps are multi-lingual and multi-currency to support advisers with international clients.


Advisers can now connect Riskalyze's digital adviser, Autopilot, with Schwab's OpenView Gateway to sync client data between both platforms and get daily updates on client profiles, accounts, balances and positions on both platforms on a daily basis. The integration also lets Riskalyze automate trade delivery for accounts opened at Schwab.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Sponsored financial news

Upcoming Event

Apr 26


Cracking the Code: Making Sense of Alternative Investments

InvestmentNews Research estimates that $150 billion in alternative assets could be added to client portfolios among independent advisers over the next three years. Roughly 85% of all clients are now expressing interest in learning more... Learn more

Accepted for 1 CE Credit by the CFP Board. Pending by Investments & Wealth Institute for 1 credit towards the CIMA® and CPWA® certifications.

Featured video


How 401(k) advisers can use 'centers of influence' to grow their business

Leveraging relationships with accounting, benefits, and property and casualty insurance firms can help deliver new business leads for retirement plan advisers.

Latest news & opinion

SEC advice rule may give RIAs leg up over broker-dealers

Experts say advisers will be able to point to their role as fiduciaries as a differentiator in the advice market.

Brokers accept proposed SEC rule on who can call themselves an adviser

Some say the rule will clear up investor confusion, but others say the SEC didn't go far enough.

SEC advice rule: Here's what you need to know

We sifted through the nearly 1,000-page proposal and picked out some of the most important points.

Cadaret Grant acquired by private-equity-backed Atria

75-year-old owner Arthur Grant positions the IBD for the 'next 33 years.'

SEC advice rule seeks to tighten reins on brokers

The proposed rule puts new restrictions on brokers, but it is still unclear how strongly the SEC is clamping down.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print