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Morningstar Restructures Leadership of Research Operations

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Morningstar is reorganizing, putting its quantitative analytics and qualitative managed investment research teams under a single leader and creating the role of chief ratings officer, effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Jeffrey Ptak, now head of manager research worldwide, will be chief ratings officer, responsible for approval of new investment ratings methodologies for managed investment strategies and equities and leading a team focused on articulating Morningstar’s best ideas for portfolio construction.

Ptak, a 17-year Morningstar veteran, has served in a variety of roles: senior fund and equity analyst, director of exchange-traded fund analysis and president and chief investment officer of Morningstar Investment Services Inc., a separate investment unit providing managed portfolio services through fee-based, independent financial advisors. 

Lee Davidson, currently head of quantitative research, will add head of manager research to his job description. Davidson has served in his current role for the past five years and has worked at Morningstar for twice that long.

More tightly marrying our analysts’ in-depth, qualitative research with our quantitatively derived analytics will help us meet investors’ growing interest across asset classes and spur innovation,” said Haywood Kelly, Morningstar’s head of research, in a statement. “Furthermore, creating a chief ratings officer will ensure we maintain our high bar for ratings integrity and efficacy as we develop new methodologies and expand into new investment types.” 

Morningstar provides independent analyst research reports and qualitative, forward-looking analyst ratings for more than 5,400 mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other types of investment vehicles globally.

Its analyst coverage has grown to include separately managed accounts, model portfolios, collective investment trusts (CITs), state-sponsored college-savings plans, target date funds and health savings accounts.

The firm also recently introduced quantitatively derived investor tools for managed investments, including the Morningstar Quantitative Rating, which launched in 2017 and uses machine learning to rate more than 39,000 funds that Morningstar analysts don’t cover.

— Check out Vanguard Abandoning Ship, Developing ‘New Brand Image’ on ThinkAdvisor.


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