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Morningstar Brings Direct Platform to Wealth Management Firms

Morningstar takes another step toward stitching together the end-to-end tech stack for financial advisors.

As investment management technology for advisors evolves, and in some cases becomes commoditized; companies like Morningstar are trying to differentiate themselves by vacuum-sealing more products into one offering.

The latest is the Morningstar Direct for Wealth Management platform, announced Monday, which hopes to help wealth management firms, trust companies and family offices better use Morningstar Direct’s features to collaborate across specialties, from investment officers to client-facing advisors. The goal is to keep research, due diligence, analytics, modeling and investment reporting in the same tool.

The latest iteration of the platform includes data points around active share and environmental, social and governance data, looking to capitalize on growing investor demand for insight around those factors. It also boasts an ability to pull in custom data, provide risk model analytics and team-wide notifications for updates on relevant investments.

“What we find is a lot of times wealth management firms will have to go to seven or 10 different platforms to piece that whole story together,” said Adrian Johnson, director of wealth management software at the firm, “so they might get ESG out of one vendor, one platform, and then they have a separate risk model tool. It makes it very difficult to kind of put together your monitoring and portfolio construction workflows.”

The tool is designed to keep those separate decision-making opportunities in the same digital space, ideally conserving time and resources across the board. “By streamlining communication through one platform, manager researchers, due diligence teams and portfolio strategists can collaborate and connect with client-facing advisors in real time in order to share critical updates across firm locations,” added Tricia Rothschild, the company’s chief product officer.

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