If there were any doubts as to whom the Morningstar Investment Conference is aimed at, Kunal Kapoor dispelled them in his opening remarks Wednesday in Chicago: it’s for advisors.
Kapoor, head of information products and client solutions at Morningstar (MORN), welcomed the 1,900 attendees (more than 1,000 of whom are advisors) at the 26th annual show at the McCormick Place by recounting how the now 30-year-old company is changing to meet its advisor clients’ needs.
“Advisors want more research,” he said, so Morningstar is providing more strategic research on mutual fund managers for institutions as part of a new initiative called Morningstar Manager Research Services. The service will provide access to Morningstar’s 110 manager research analysts in addition to research reports and its Analyst Rating services.
“There are two other areas we can help you,” Kapoor said: improving advisors’ operational efficiencies in their workflows and in “how you interact” with clients, especially younger ones. So Kapoor said to give advisors a better picture of their clients’ overall financial state, Morningstar has acquired two companies this year: ByAllAccounts, the data aggregation company, and HelloWallet, which provides financial guidance tools and information to employers to help their employees.
Kapoor also said that Morningstar has an iPad version in beta testing, and is working on helping customers of the sunsetting desktop version of its Principia research tool to migrate toward Advisor Workstation.