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Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $205 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2020. The Company has operations in 27 countries.

Brock Johnson

President, Morningstar Retirement Services

Award Category
401(k) Retirement Plan Support Services: 401(k) Service
Initiative
Advisor Managed Accounts
For over 20 years, Morningstar Investment Management LLC has helped pioneer the delivery of digital advice and currently works with nearly two dozen recordkeepers with the mission of helping participants achieve better retirement outcomes. Now, registered investment advisers (RIAs) can leverage our technology expertise and recordkeeper connectivity to help grow their retirement business and compete in today’s digital financial landscape with Advisor Managed Accounts—a scalable, turnkey digital advice and managed accounts service powered by the RIA. This product incorporates the RIA’s unique investment philosophies while leveraging our existing UI, recordkeeper integrations, and managed accounts operations. With Advisor Managed Accounts, plan sponsors and participants alike get the personalized advice they’re looking for, while RIAs get a platform to help them deliver service on a wider scale.

Daniel Needham

President & Global Chief Investment Officer

Award Category
Asset Managers: New Product Development
Initiative
ESG Portfolios
The Morningstar® ESG Asset Allocation Portfolios are a series of five diversified portfolios designed for investors who consider sustainable investing important to their financial goals. The portfolios are managed with Morningstar Investment Management’s distinctive long-term, valuation-driven approach using both active mutual funds and passive exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and are supported by Morningstar, Inc.’s ESG research, data, and insights. The result is a series of long-term core investments that help preserve capital while generating return potential using a holistic approach to portfolio construction. The portfolio team leverages Morningstar, Inc. ESG data and research, including the Morningstar Sustainability Rating™ for funds, to create core portfolios that integrate sustainability considerations, span the risk spectrum, and incorporate active and passive strategies with a goal of achieving competitive, risk-adjusted returns.
Award Category
Asset Managers: Thought Leadership Advisor Education
Initiative
Simple, but Not Easy Podcast
We launched a podcast, “Simple, but Not Easy,” in 2019 to share thought leadership and develop community among like-minded advisors who are focused on goals-based planning and long-term, valuation-driven investing. The podcast offers insights in two areas, investing and behavioral science. The podcast features a diverse array of guests, including Morningstar Investment Management’s global CIO, portfolio managers, our head of decision sciences, as well as a panel of millennials, women talking about their careers in asset management, and leading voices and advisors within our community. Conversations are less formal, and advisors are able to hear from other advisors and our team on noninvestment topics. We seek to make content engaging and—at times—fun, an example being our holiday markets quiz in December.
Award Category
TAMPs: TAMPs
Initiative
Multistrategy Account
Morningstar® Managed PortfoliosSM recently added multistrategy account (MSA) and advanced risk modeling capabilities to our service. MSA allows our advisors to balance 2-3 Morningstar Managed Portfolios strategies within one account. These accounts allow advisors to craft thousands of unique approaches to help investors meet their financial goals. Our advisors appreciate the flexibility of MSA but, as they combine multiple asset allocation strategies and equity SMAs, they need to be certain they are creating a suitable solution for their client. We re-imagined our risk modeling capabilities, creating an easy-to-use Risk Score for each multistrategy proposal. This portfolio Risk Score is compared to the investor’s capacity and tolerance for risk. Advisors can then fine tune their selections and allocations in a simple yet powerful experience.

Matthew Radgowski

Head of Client Solutions, Advisor Segment

Award Category
Industry Research Providers
Initiative
Morningstar Analyst Ratings for Model Portfolios
In March 2019, Morningstar began assigning its forward-looking Morningstar Analyst Rating™ to model portfolios to help advisors evaluate these investment options. The Analyst Rating is a qualitative rating that sets forth Morningstar’s fundamental assessment of a strategy’s merits. It takes the form of Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral, and Negative, with the highest ratings going to funds the analysts’ research leads them to conclude will outperform over a market cycle, and Neutral and Negative ratings to those they lack conviction in. As of April 2020, Morningstar has assigned Analyst Ratings to 64 models and continues to add new ones to coverage. To support the ratings, analysts have also published research to help advisors better understand models, including an in-depth look at what drives models’ low fees.
Award Category
Technology Providers: Innovation New Applications
Initiative
Regulation Best Interest Advisor Workflow
Regulation Best Interest takes effect on June 30, 2020. It requires broker-dealers to establish a “best interest” standard of conduct when their advisors make a recommendation to a retail customer of any securities transaction or investment strategy. In keeping with our commitment to empower investor success, Morningstar has devised an enhanced set of data, research, products, and services to help these firms meet new regulatory requirements and enhance productivity in a way best suited to their business — all while putting the investor first. Our Reg BI solutions set includes Morningstar® Advisor Workstation℠, Morningstar® Enterprise Components, Morningstar Goal Bridge, Morningstar® Data, Morningstar Research, and Morningstar® Managed Portfolios℠. We tailor our solutions to our clients to fit to their needs.

Dermot O'Mahony

Head of Software Products

Award Category
Technology Providers: Account Aggregation,
Wealth Reporting / Personal Finance Managers
Initiative
ByAllAccounts with Personal Financial Management
Investors are surrounded by financial data from a vast array of disparate sources that cause confusion, unrealistic expectations, and uninformed decision-making. They trust their advisors to provide tools to harness the data, evaluate their entire financial picture, and provide personalized advice to help them attain financial wellness. ByAllAccounts data aggregation with Personal Financial Management empowers investors with the tools they need to create a holistic view of their financial situation, which they can then share with their advisors as they set, prioritize, and work towards financial goals. With a complete picture of their clients’ spending and held-away assets, advisors are better positioned to give personalized advice that will lead to client success.
Award Category
Technology Providers: Financial Planning
Initiative
Morningstar Goal Bridge
Morningstar Goal Bridge is a goals-based investment planning tool built on a foundation of Morningstar data, research, and behavioral science. It empowers advisors and their clients to clearly define and prioritize goals, understand their risk profile, co-create investment plans, and take actions to reach their goals.
Award Category
Technology Providers: Portfolio Analytics
Initiative
Morningstar Direct – Global Risk Model
The Morningstar® Global Risk Model, available in Morningstar Direct, helps advisors understand portfolio risk with simple visualizations designed to empower investor success. Built on Morningstar’s extensive database, advisors can surface risk and forecast returns using holdings-based analysis for a more stable result than when using past performance to predict future returns. In today’s competitive advice landscape, advisors are able to showcase their value to clients with scenario analysis, factor profiling, risk factor attribution and decomposition, and more. Advisors can also easily calm client anxieties and address market concerns with pre-defined scenarios created by our Quantitative Research team, including Novel Coronavirus Outbreak, China/US Trade War, and Robot Apocalypse. With Morningstar’s Global Risk Model, advisors can prepare for what’s next.
Award Category
Technology Providers: Portfolio Management, Accounting and Performance Reporting
Initiative
Morningstar Office Cloud – Scenario Analysis
Morningstar Office Cloud is our web-based portfolio management software. Our platform integrates our independent data, research, and analysis with client relationship management, performance reporting, fee billing, rebalancing, model marketplace, trade order management, and other critical aspects of an advisory business to simplify the workday and help advisors build effective portfolios for their clients. We introduced our scenario analysis tool to show how one or more funds would perform if conditions from a past market or macroeconomic event were to reoccur. Our risk modeling capability can also analyze client accounts, model portfolios, and custom benchmarks. Advisors can use our pre-defined scenarios (such as the 2007-2009 subprime crisis, 2018 market volatility, or the novel coronavirus) to visualize and clearly communicate the value of their recommendations.
Resources
WHITE PAPER
6 Reasons to Adopt Advisor Technology
The business of advice has changed. Learn how you can build your practice of tomorrow by using technology effectively.
GUIDE
Morningstar’s Guide to Indexes
The rising market share of passively managed vehicles has put indexes into the limelight. Learn more in our new guide.
REPORT
2020 Model Portfolio Landscape Report
What to know about the rapidly growing list of third-party model portfolios advisors have to choose from.