Orion Advisor Solutions has named Natalie Wolfsen, former CEO of AssetMark, as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Eric Clarke, who announced in May his intention to retire by the end of 2023. Wolfsen will take over the role and join Orion’s board of directors in mid-October, according to an announcement. Clarke will assume a supporting leadership role until the end of 2023 and continue beyond year-end providing strategic direction and counsel as a member of Orion’s board.
In conjunction with Orion’s announcement, AssetMark named Michael Kim, president and chief client officer, as its new CEO.
The news was first reported by Citywire RIA.
Clarke’s surprise announcement capped a nearly quarter-century run since the company was founded in 1999. Clarke has grown Orion from its role as a portfolio accounting and reporting system and into an RIA technology juggernaut offering firms many different categories of tools from financial planning to risk measurement and analytics and is a strong competitor to Envestnet.
His time includes oversight of many acquisitions and their integration into the larger Orion ecosystem from planning firm Advizr to risk technology vendor HiddenLevers, to popular CRM provider Redtail. Orion currently has $3.8 trillion in assets under administration on its platform across 2,400 RIA or wealth management firms. Its Redtail acquisition has added another 100,000 advisors and over 19,000 firms as clients.
Last week, Orion won four 2023 WealthManagement.com Industry Awards in the categories of technology disruptor, client onboarding/new account opening, unified (all-in-one) systems and CRM.
“Natalie shares our vision for empowering financial advisors so they can serve their clients more effectively,” said Clarke, in a statement. “She has my full support and I’m committed to managing a smooth transition for our clients and team members.”
Wolfsen has served as CEO of AssetMark, a turnkey asset management platform, for the last two years. She took over for Charles Goldman, who abruptly left the firm in early 2021. Goldman currently sits on the board at Orion and led the search for the company’s new CEO.
She joined AssetMark in 2014 as chief commercialization officer and executive vice president. Prior to that, served as senior vice president and head of marketing and product development at First Eagle Investment Management. Before joining First Eagle, she held a similar role at Pershing.
AssetMark went public in July 2019 as a way to pay down debt and acquire other businesses. In 2022, for instance, AssetMark acquired Adhesion Wealth, a unified managed account platform, from Vestmark.
AssetMark’s stock price was down 1.58% in trading on Friday, when the news was announced.