Morningstar Inc.’s recently unveiled online Broker-Dealer Center is getting a big partner–the Financial Planning Association. The Chicago-based information company will announce next week that it will relaunch its service shortly as the Morningstar-FPA Broker-Dealer Center.
The center currently serves two main purposes: helping advisors choose which B/D to affiliate with, and assisting B/Ds themselves in recruitment efforts. Eleven B/Ds, including Raymond James Financial Services, LPL Financial Services, and SunAmerica Securities, have signed up to appear on the site ( http://advisor.morningstar.com/bdcenter/bdcover.asp ), which lets advisors do in-depth comparisons of services and financial data. To be listed in the center, firms must pay either $2,250 per month, or $1,000 per month, plus $125 for each lead generated by the site, says Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar’s advisor business.
Boruff is scheduled to announce the deal on Feb. 1 in Los Angeles, during the FPA’s annual Broker/Dealer Conference. Although the FPA will not invest in the site, it will be a partner in getting the word out to broker/dealer corporate members as well as advisors, says Boruff. “They will be providing marketing support involving their brand. Having them involved is a seal of approval.” The Broker-Dealer Center will continue to be available through MorningstarAdvisor.com as well as via the FPA’s Web site, www.fpanet.org. Boruff says Morningstar will augment the site by sending advisors bi-weekly e-mail newsletters on B/D issues.