Orion acquires risk management fintech

The platform it's buying, HiddenLevers, allows advisers to perform portfolio- or security-level stress tests to measure sensitivity to macro-level risks.

Orion Advisor Solutions announced Tuesday it has acquired HiddenLevers, joining a list of wealthtechs that have snatched up smaller fintech platforms in recent weeks. 

Atlanta-based HiddenLevers, founded in 2009 by bootstrappers Raj Udeshi and Praveen Ghanta, allows advisers to perform portfolio- or security-level stress tests to measure sensitivity to macro-level risks.

The web-based risk management fintech contains dozens of hypothetical macro-level risk formulas, such as oil shocks, global conflicts or large swings in gold prices, as well as correlations among more than 100 economic indicators, industries and securities.

Orion plans to embed HiddenLevers’ technology into its business intelligence and compliance tools. After the deal is finalized, Udeshi and Ghanta will join Orion’s leadership team and HiddenLevers’ approximately 25 employees will join Orion. Additional transaction details were not disclosed. 

The $48 billion turnkey asset manager plans to add HiddenLevers to its investment model marketplace, called Orion Communities. The 2,200 advisory firms that use the TAMP will be able to see how blending models and strategies would affect an investor’s overall risk profile.

Orion founder and CEO Eric Clarke said the acquisition is a move to connect planning and investing to design a better client experience. The acquisition adds “value for investment committees looking to improve allocation models, and also for advisers looking to mitigate panic selling,” Clarke said in a statement. 

Industry discussions around improving clients’ experience with technology have been increasing. Ally Invest President Lule Demmissie will outline the ways advisers should be offering personalized client experiences during a keynote presentation at the InvestmentNews FinTech Virtual Summit on March 23. 

Orion’s announcement comes shortly after TAMP rival Envestnet added $30 million to its operating expenses this year, in part to ramp up its digital client experience to build a financial wellness ecosystem. 

Fellow technology-savvy firms have also been acquiring smaller fintechs lately. Betterment announced last Thursday it has acquired Toronto-based robo-adviser Wealthsimple Inc.’s U.S. book of business, which manages $197 million in assets for more than 17,400 clients.

MoneyLion announced last Wednesday its acquisition of Wealth Technologies Inc. just a few weeks after its Feb. 12 announcement that it will go public via a blank-check merger with Fusion Acquisition Corp. The deal pushes MoneyLion to unicorn status with a company valuation of $2.9 billion.  

Last Monday, AssetMark announced its $145 million acquisition of financial planning software Voyant in a deal that positions the turnkey asset manager to build a financial wellness platform, too.

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