As Oranj nears shut down date, rivals woo advisors in need of new software

Trader Talk

Technology vendors are offering special discounts to entice financial advisors scrambling to find a new digital platform before Oranj closes its doors on Dec. 31.

The fintech marketplace is a competitive one, and Oranj’s short notice to advisors that it was shutting down at year’s end provides a truncated period to win over new business which is unexpectedly up for grabs.

Though competing firms don’t plan to compete on price — Oranj offered advisors a free digital wealth management platform if they implemented investment strategies from a model marketplace — they do see an opportunity to provide a replacement to hundreds of advisors still using TradeWarrior, the trading and rebalancing software Oranj acquired in 2017 and which will shut down in just four weeks.

AdvisorPeak, an automated trading and rebalancing fintech launched by TradeWarrior founder and former CEO Damon Deru, is offering to split the difference between what firms paid Oranj and AdvisorPeak’s standard pricing, which comes to about a 20% to 30% discount, a spokesperson says. With a similar look and workflow, AdvisorPeak has already signed up several former TradeWarrior customers, the spokesperson says.

Orion Advisor Solutions is providing six months of free access to technology and preferential onboarding to former Oranj users, says Chief Revenue Officer Kyle Hiatt. With its own trading engine, technology suite, model marketplace and experience converting data for advisors, Orion can minimize any potential disruption, Hiatt says.

“We have already converted people off of TradeWarrior, even before this whole Oranj thing came up,” he says. “The timeline that they’ve given everybody, it puts people in a tough position.”

Riskalyze is also waiving implementation fees, license fees and twelve-month contract requirements for its trading platform for two weeks, and offering new and existing customers free end-of-year portfolio rebalancing. The company is also offering access to Riskalyze, the most advanced version of its digital risk analytics suite.

Riskalyze has been planning the offer for months and is primarily targeting advisors who don’t currently use any rebalancing software, says CEO Aaron Klein. However, the firm has been “flooded” with inquiries from Oranj users, and Risklayze will help with data migration work for these advisors, he says.

“We feel for [Oranj CEO] David Lyon and the team over there and send them our best, but this is an incredible opportunity for advisors who were looking for a replacement,” Klein says.

Technology companies aren’t the only firms who see a growth opportunity. Though it isn’t offering any special discounts, turnkey asset management platform Potomac Fund Management is using paid Google search results to advertise itself as an “Oranj alternative.”

“Our offer is for those people who were slapped in the face with a six-week heads up that their software company is going out of business and just don’t want to manage money anymore,” says Manish Khatta, Potomac’s chief investment officer.

Other advisors may not want to risk joining another fintech startup that puts them through this experience again, he says.

“The worry is they go to another trading platform that just gets acquired,” Khatta says, pointing at LPL’s recent purchase of Blaze Portfolio for $12 million. “Ultimately, this is a wakeup call for advisors to get to know the tech companies they are getting in bed with.”

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