In the latest deal reshaping financial services, Omaha, Neb.-based Orion Advisor Solutions has agreed to buy Berwyn-based Brinker Capital Inc. a 31-year-old firm that sells investments to financial advisers for the rich.

“This is a growth thing,” not a sign of the distress that has pushed some old-style money managers to merge, said Noreen Beaman, chief executive of Brinker, which manages $25 billion in client assets.

She said Brinker not only invests for clients, it also builds software packages that help advisers tell users how to best reduce taxes, fund projects, or plan for retirement. In sum, it’s a business that Orion, which has offices in King of Prussia, believes will give it a lot more to sell to advisors targeting high-net-worth people and institutional investors.

Noreen Beaman, chief executive, Brinker Capital
Orion Advisor Solutions
Noreen Beaman, chief executive, Brinker Capital

“There are few players that can compete with the money-management expertise that Brinker brings to the table, powered by Orion’s technology and open [software] architecture,” said Kelly Waltrich, chief marketing officer for Orion and head of its 30-member marketing group in King of Prussia.

Waltrich held the same job at financial-planning software-maker eMoney Advisors, of Radnor, before its takeover by Fidelity Investments in 2017. She moved to Orion after the company agreed she could build her team in suburban Philadelphia instead of moving to Nebraska. “We’re excited about the financial technology talent pool blossoming around Philadelphia,” she added.

“We were looking for additional capital, but we could have continued to grow separately,” Brinker’s Beaman said. “To lean in together and expand that growth is what’s really exciting.”

Genstar Capital of San Francisco and TA Associates of Boston, which is a longtime Orion Investor, are backing the deal. Neither the buyers nor the sellers would say what Orion agreed to pay.

Beaman and Charles Widger, who is Brinker’s founder and controlling owner, as well as the 165 other staffers will stay at the company’s Berwyn offices as a unit of a larger company employing a total of just more than 1,000.


Orion chief executive Eric Clarke said in a statement that he looks forward to selling Brinker programs, including the firm’s “Behavioral Innovation Lab,which helps advisers walk clients thorough volatile market.

Orion has expanded rapidly since 2015, when TA bought into the company. Since then Orion has launched marketing-automation platform Market*r, purchased Advizr’s investment planning system, acquired FTJ FundChoice (now Orion Portfolio Solutions), and developed new communications and interface programs. Orion claims 2,000 advisor clients, managing $1 trillion in client assets, more than four times its scale in 2015.

PCI invests

PCI Pharma Services, a Northeast Philadelphia company that packages drugs and drug-delivery systems, says it has finished work on a new automated-packaging facility in Philadelphia and on significant new investments at a new location in Ireland, along with updating its older British and German facilities.

PCI, headed by chief executive Salim Haffar and chief operating officer Brad Payne, employs 3,700 in North America, Europe, and Australia, and counts major drugmakers among its clients.

The factory upgrades by PCI, founded in 1971 as Packaging Coordinators Inc., have added high-speed automated syringe assembly, vial labeling, and other processes in what the firm is calling its Biotech Center of Excellence on Red Lion Road. The 700-employee center serves PCI’s rising proportion of biopharmaceutical clients, compared with old-fashioned pill-makers.

Backed by private-equity investors Partners Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Frazier Healthcare Partners, PCI last winter bought Toronto-based Bellwyck Pharma Services, which packages drugs for clinical trials.







High-interest Victory

Victory Bancorp Inc., which runs Limerick-based, $291 million-asset Victory Bank, says it will pay 6.25% a year for the next five years to investors who bought a total of $10 million of its fixed-to-floating-rate 10-year notes. The bank, which has been modestly profitable, may buy the notes back after five years. Or, following that period, the bank will pay 6.13% above the benchmark Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) until the bonds expire.

Noting that’s a rich yield for these cheap-money times, chief executive and chairman Joseph W. Major said in a statement that the resulting cash inflow should provide “a strong base” to grow the bank and pay down existing debt.