Natalie Wolfsen named Orion CEO following AssetMark exit

After almost a decade as AssetMark’s chief, Natalie Wolfsen has been chosen to guide Orion Advisor Options into its subsequent period.

On late Friday afternoon, leaders from each the Omaha, Nebraska-based wealthtech supplier and Wolfsen’s former agency in Harmony, California introduced the CEO shakeup. 

Wolfsen’s appointment as CEO and addition to Orion’s board of administrators might be efficient in mid-October. When that occurs, Orion Founder and outgoing CEO Eric Clarke will transition to a management assist function.

That was a part of the plan when Clarke introduced his intentions to retire and mirrored on the strategy of Orion’s twenty fifth anniversary earlier this 12 months.

“I am captivated with Natalie becoming a member of Orion. Natalie shares our imaginative and prescient for empowering monetary advisors to allow them to serve their shoppers extra successfully,” Clarke mentioned in an announcement. “She has my full assist and I am dedicated to managing a clean transition for our shoppers and group members. I stay up for Natalie main our group into the longer term.” 

Shortly earlier than Orion launched its assertion confirming late-day reviews of Wolfsen’s exit, AssetMark introduced that Michael Kim has been named the corporate’s new CEO efficient instantly, stating that “Wolfsen will depart the corporate to pursue one other alternative.”

New AssetMark CEO Michael Kim


In accordance with AssetMark, Kim is a 13-year agency veteran with greater than 25 years of collective trade expertise. He most just lately served as Assetmark president and chief consumer officer. 

“Michael is an skilled, extremely efficient chief who brings a wealth of experience and perspective to his new function,” AssetMark Board Chair Xiaoning Jiao mentioned in an announcement. “Throughout his tenure at AssetMark, he has demonstrated his capacity to drive constantly sturdy outcomes. His data of AssetMark, understanding of the wants of our shoppers and uniquely advisor-focused lens will undoubtedly profit the corporate because it continues its development and evolution.”

Previous to becoming a member of AssetMark, Kim was an govt at Constancy Investments, overseeing RIA gross sales administration, relationship administration and follow administration. 

“Coming off a document quarter with platform belongings at an all-time (excessive), it’s an thrilling interval in AssetMark’s development trajectory, and I’m honored to be the corporate’s subsequent CEO,” Kim mentioned in an announcement. “We’re an trade chief with a tremendously gifted group, underpinned by an modern platform and a robust monetary basis. I stay up for working alongside this group to proceed executing the corporate’s confirmed technique.”

The CEO search that introduced Wolfsen and her almost 30 years of know-how to Orion’s high workplace was led by somebody very accustomed to her former job. Former AssetMark President and CEO Charles Goldman — who was appointed to the place of govt chair of the Orion board per week earlier than Clark introduced his retirement — led the CEO search together with a committee.

Wolfsen succeeded Goldman as AssetMark CEO in February 2021. Earlier than AssetMark, she beforehand held digital and funding platform growth, funding answer administration, technique and advertising and marketing roles at First Eagle Funding Administration, Pershing, Charles Schwab and American Specific.

“On behalf of Orion’s board of administrators, I’m thrilled to welcome Natalie Wolfsen subsequent month as we usher in a brand new period of development and innovation at Orion,” Goldman mentioned in an announcement. “Orion is uniquely positioned given its full suite of expertise and companies designed to satisfy the evolving wants of unbiased fiduciary advisors.”

Clarke’s departure represents the largest shift but for an organization that helps greater than 5 million expertise accounts and hundreds of unbiased advisory corporations. It additionally continues a streak of wealthtech CEO adjustments into the ultimate quarter of the 12 months.

In mid-August, SMArtX Advisory Options introduced that Jonathan Pincus had been named the agency’s new CEO as founder Evan Rapoport transitioned to a task on the SMArtX board of administrators. 

Pincus has served as SMArtX’s president and chief working officer for the final three years, in response to the corporate. His run as SMArtX CEO is efficient instantly. Earlier than becoming a member of SMArtX, Pincus was international head of funding operations at Northern Belief Asset Administration.

In April, InvestCloud introduced that co-founder and former CEO John Clever had left the corporate and that Richard Lumb was being appointed interim chief. The board additionally has initiated a complete seek for a everlasting CEO, however no timeframe for the hassle was offered and no updates have been issued since then.

The subsequent month, Clarke introduced his plans to retire on the finish of 12 months. 

Transferring past the tech area, different notable wealth administration exits in 2023 embrace the sudden February departure of Sanctuary Wealth Founder Jim Dickson, who was changed by Adam Malamed as the brand new CEO. 

In late March, it was introduced that Andy Sieg was stepping down from his place as president of Merrill Wealth Administration to turn out to be the brand new head of Citi World Wealth in September.

Sieg labored at Citi from 2005 to 2009. He had been at Financial institution of America’s Merrill since then, serving first as head of World Wealth & Retirement Options, then as president of Merrill in 2017. Sieg is changed by Lindsay Hans and Eric Schimpf, who had been named presidents and co-heads of Merrill Wealth Administration. Each executives will report back to Financial institution of America CEO and chairman Brian Moynihan.