The firm hopes the software will help keep pace with larger wirehouse firms and expedite regulatory requests by recording and displaying more billing and performance data.
“Our continued success will depend, in part, upon our ability to successfully maintain, secure and upgrade the capability of our systems, our ability to address the needs of our clients by using technology to provide products and services that satisfy their demands and our ability to retain skilled information technology employees,” the firm acknowledged in their 10-K report for the year ended June 30, 2012.
The partnership with Orion has been about a year in the making following a number of requests from advisors for enhancements to their performance reporting systems, according to Holly Peritz, president of Southwest Financial Services. The new software provides advisors with a customizable dashboard that aggregates performance and billing data and a mobile application for advisors who wish to review client information outside the office.
“According to some of our recent hires, this is actually better than what they have at a couple of the wirehouses,” Peritz said. “So we match up with those who have already enhanced their reporting capabilities, but it is ahead of several of those who are not at that level.”
The software will also help process requests from regulators by organizing data ahead of time for standard inquiries, according to Peritz.
To ease the transition, the firm is rolling it out step-by-step, establishing the database and building up the historical database of client information before it goes live in the field. Peritz expected that new clients would begin to use the software by March of 2013 and that workflow and other upgrades would be made over the coming years.
Client data will be hosted on Orion’s platform where information such as account numbers and social security numbers will be encrypted, according to Jon Reiners, vice president of institutional business development at Orion. Reiners said that firm is currently focused on the RIA market, but has also partnered with some broker-dealers such as Southwest.
Southwest reported that by its fiscal year-end, it had about 166 registered representatives spread across 19 offices and about 310 independent retail advisors who will adopt the software.