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Morningstar

Morningstar, Inc., was founded on the simple idea that when people have good investment information, they can make better choices thathelp them achieve their financial goals. In the retirement solutions group at Morningstar Investment Management LLC, a subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. and a registered investment adviser, our advocacy for the individual investor extends to the workplace retirement market where the responsibility for investing and saving now rests with employees. We are committed to helping those individuals save for retirement by providing products and services that range from a managed accounts service to custom models to target-date products and fiduciary services.

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Best Interest Advice for Your Clients
Powering Your Regulation Best Interest Solutions at Scale
Morningstar
Award Category

Technology Providers 

| Compliance

Finalist

Regulation Best Interest Solutions

Regulation Best Interest, along with the new Department of Labor Prohibited Transaction Exemption requires firms to document reasons for the investment recommendations and rollovers. Morningstar’s Best Interest Investment Recommendation and Best Interest Rollover scorecard capabilities ensure the necessary evaluation of investments and services are performed and the investor’s best interest is achieved. Our investment recommendation tool evaluates investments on the basis of performance, risk, and cost. The Scorecard includes an evaluation of investment quality and cost, client portfolio fit relative to their risk profile, as well as an evaluation of the value of services offered by the advisor. The solution leverages Morningstar’s proprietary data, research, and analytics, along with our retirement plan data and Gamma research on the value of advice.

Morningstar
Award Category

Technology Providers 

| Client Portals

Finalist

ByAllAccounts Financial Management Tools

Morningstar ByAllAccounts data aggregation has expanded our product offering to include a client facing portal with Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools to empower investors with a holistic view of their financial situation. Investors are surrounded by financial data from a vast array of disparate sources causing confusion, inertia, unrealistic expectations, and uninformed decision-making.

Both clients and their advisors have been clamoring for tools to harness the data, illustrate, their entire financial picture, and empower personalized advice to help them attain financial wellness. Backed by the power of Morningstar’s security master and proven data enrichment processes, ByAllAccounts offers unparalleled coverage, data accuracy, timeliness, and clarity.

With a complete picture of their clients’ assets and spending, advisors are positioned to give personalized advice to empower investor success.

Morningstar
Award Category

401(K) — Retirement Plan Support Services 

| 401(K) Technology

Finalist

Morningstar Plan Advantage

Morningstar® Plan AdvantageSM is a platform that helps advisors build and manage retirement plans and prospect new business—all through one platform. The platform also helps financial institutions, like broker-dealer or registered investment adviser (RIA) firms, streamline oversight of their retirement plan business with clear metrics on their plans, the professionals who are selling the plans, and the investment lineups they are managing.

We developed Morningstar Plan Advantage as a new channel through which advisors can access our services. We traditionally have always offered our fiduciary solutions through recordkeepers, and we wanted to expand our reach in order to serve more retirement plans.

Morningstar
Award Category

Technology Providers 

| Portfolio Management, Accounting and Performance Reporting

Finalist

Morningstar Office with Goal Bridge

Morningstar Office is our all-in-one portfolio management software. The platform integrates Morningstar’s independent data, research, and analysis with client relationship management, performance reporting, fee billing, rebalancing, model marketplace, trade order management, and other critical business functions to simplify the workday and help advisors build effective portfolios for their clients.

This year, we added Goal Bridge to enhance our goals-based investment proposal tool within Morningstar Office. Goal Bridge connects goal planning and investment planning into a single workflow that makes it easy for advisors to show clients the impact of a goals-based approach. By bringing these practices together, advisors can have more confidence that their recommendations are clearly aligned to goal attainment and clients can better understand trade-offs that can lead to better goal outcomes.

Morningstar
Award Category

Technology Providers 

| Innovation New Applications

Finalist

Morningstar for Advisors Mobile App

Financial advisors are burdened with manually gathering the information they need to coach clients through financial goals and decision trade-offs. To alleviate that burden, we launched a companion mobile application to Advisor Workstation with an Intelligent Digital Assistant (“IDA”). Whether advisors are meeting with investors in person or virtually, IDA captures images from brokerage statements and creates digital portfolios almost instantly. Advisors can perform portfolio analysis, generate client reports, and illustrate decision trade-offs in real time with a client – from their smartphone.

Released in September 2020, this mobile app enabled advisors to serve clients whenever and wherever they need to access client and portfolio intelligence. During the pandemic, this was nearly a requirement for non-traditional ways to digitally connect and engage with prospective clients.

Morningstar
Award Category

Asset Managers 

| Thought Leadership Product Enhancement

Finalist

Analyst Ratings for Model Portfolios

Morningstar has increased the number of models covered by Analysts, and now delivers two new reports for these increasingly popular strategies. As the first independent research firm offering qualitative, forward-looking ratings for models, these ratings establish an industry standard to allow clients to easily visualize, compare, and assess risk for models relative to peers, using the same methodology in rating managed funds.

In March 2021, Morningstar significantly expanded coverage of the models rated by Morningstar Analysts as part of a dedicated Models data universe. Almost 100 models across 12 target date series funds are now covered, with more being added monthly. The new Morningstar Portfolio report and Morningstar report for Models also surface the Morningstar Analyst details for models.

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Scott Smith

With more than 20 years of financial services industry experience, Scott leads Cerulli’s research efforts focused on investor behavior and advisory relationships. In his time at Cerulli he has authored more than two dozen in-depth reports on topics ranging from wholesale distribution to digital advice platforms. His research helps Cerulli’s clients understand how to optimize their platforms given the evolving demand for financial advice.

Scott, who received his B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in Economics and his M.B.A. from Bryant University, started his career wearing a headset at Putnam Investments’ service center, before moving to more strategic roles at MFS Investment Management and then to Cerulli in 2007.

Abby Salameh

“It’s lonely at the top, so make sure to bring your friends!”

Abby Salameh is a seasoned, executive-level professional with over 25-years of experience focused on building solutions to drive growth for independent advisory businesses and the organizations that serve them.

Having held multiple leadership positions at firms like InvestmentNews, TD Ameritrade, NFP and most recently as CMO of Hightower Advisors, Abby brings deep knowledge of martech (marketing technology) solutions, practice enrichment programs, and overall growth strategies required in the industry. She is also a dynamic, transformative leader who serves her teams with passion.

Specializing in strategic thinking and planning, driving top-line solutions, expanding revenue and growth through scaling marketing, strategic partnerships and fresh ideas, Abby won the 2020 “Thought Leader of the Year” Wealthies award.

Abby resides in New Jersey with her husband, three teenagers and her two beloved French bulldogs.

Tina Powell

Tina Powell is the CEO of C-Suite Social Media, a digital marketing and social media agency for the financial services industry. With over 20 years of hands-on digital marketing campaign and strategy, Tina’s extensive experience has kept her on the leading edge of marketing and social media. Prior to founding C-Suite Social Media, Tina was a partner at Beacon Wealth Management, an SEC-registered RIA firm based in Hackensack, New Jersey later acquired by Mercer Advisors.

Tina is a TEDx Speaker and host of the In the Suite Podcast, a show that explores contemporary themes for mid and senior women in the financial services and wealth management industry, listened to in 33 countries and nearly 500 cities around the globe. She is also a judge for the 2021 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service – New Products and Services.

Tina graduated with honors from New York University with an M.A. in Graphic Communications Management and Technology and taught Integrated Marketing and Leadership in the Graduate Program. She also earned a B.S. in Business Management, magna cum laude, from Fairleigh Dickinson University and holds a Series 65 license. Tina was named Industry Era’s Ten Best Women Leaders of 2020.

Craig Pfeiffer

Craig Pfeiffer is the President & CEO of the Money Management Institute MMI is the leading voice for the global financial services organizations that provide advice and professionally managed investment solutions to individual and institutional investors. MMI enables, facilitates, and shepherds industry dialogue through national and thematic conference, education and professional development initiatives, thoughtleadership publishing, regulatory affairs, and next generation initiatives. 

Additionally, Craig is engaged in leadership roles across the financial services landscape. He is active as 

  • Co-founder and Chair of the Advisory Board for RiskBridge Advisors; RiskBridge is an OCIO asset manager focused in the non-profit, endowments and foundations space 
  • a Board Director and Lead Director for Westfield Group’s Ohio Farmers Insurance Company
  • and an Operating Partner at the private equity firm Corsair Capital. 

Craig is a proven senior financial services executive, following 29 years with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and its predecessor firms. He transitioned from MSSB in 2012 where he was Vice Chairman and on the Executive Committee. From 2003 to 2011, he held a progression of senior positions including the National Sales Group with responsibility for marketing strategy and client communications, desktop technology, and brokerage-based banking. Additionally, he has been responsible for businesses including retirement services and corporate equity solutions. From 1982 to 2003, Craig advanced through field management roles, starting as a Financial Advisor, and transitioning into field management at all levels.

Craig is an alumnus of Indiana University Kelley School of Business and most proud of his wife Cissy, their 40-year journey, their two married children and their six grandchildren.

Matt Lynch

Matt Lynch is the Managing Partner of Strategy & Resources, LLC, a financial services consulting firm. Matt, who has over 25 years of industry experience, has had a successful career as a financial services senior executive and consultant. He is sought after for his ability to link strategy with the art of the possible in terms of implementing change. Matt serves senior executives at financial services companies by focusing on corporate-level strategy, resource optimization and change management.


Matt’s professional background includes progressive senior leadership roles as President & CEO of an independent broker-dealer and RIA, Capital Analysts Incorporated, CFO of Lincoln Financial Advisors, and field management roles with New York Life. His consulting credentials include Moss Adams, LLP, where Matt was a Director of the business consulting group where he was widely recognized for his industry expertise in succession planning, M&A, and financial services distribution strategies.


Matt is a frequent keynote speaker at company events and industry conferences for firms and organizations throughout North America. He also serves on the board of directors and/or in board advisory roles for a number of financial services companies.


Matt is a native of Dayton, Ohio and received his MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) professional designations from The American College.

Tom Lydon

Tom Lydon is the CEO of ETF Trends and ETF Database. ETFtrends.com is the global leader in virtual ETF education, while ETFdb.com is the world’s largest, independent ETF-centric website focused on ETF research and fund flow decisioning tools. Together, the two companies total five million monthly impressions and have over 100,000 financial advisors register for their webcasts and virtual investment conferences annually.

Lydon started ETF Trends in 2005 on the heels of founding Global Trends Investments, an asset management firm located in Orange County, CA. He is also a contributor to many major media outlets including CNBC, Fox, Yahoo, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and MarketWatch.

As the author of iMoney and The ETF Trend Following Playbook, Lydon is a highly sought-after speaker and ETF influencer. He serves as a trustee on the Guggenheim Funds Board and is also a director on the US Global Investors (GROW) corporate board.

Julie Littlechild

Julie is the founder and CEO of Absolute Engagement, helping financial advisor and advisory firm use input and feedback from clients to evolve the experience, increase referrals, identify unmet needs and drive deeper engagement.

Julie has worked with and studied successful financial advisors and their clients for more than twenty-five years. Prior to founding Absolute Engagement, she launched and ran one of the industry’s leading research firms, focused on client engagement. She is the author of a popular blog, the co-host of the Becoming Referable podcast and the author of The Pursuit of Absolute Engagement.

Julie sat on the national board of the Financial Planning Association, currently sits on an Investment & Wealth Institute advisory board, was twice identified as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Planning, and won an industry Influencer Award in practice management. She holds an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Greg Friedman

Greg Friedman is an innovator and advocate for exceptional wealth management. He is co-founder and CEO of Private Ocean, one of the West Coast’s leading wealth management firms, and also the co-founder and former CEO of Junxure, an industry-leading CRM for advisors.

He was named by Investment Advisor Magazine as a Top 25 most influential financial advisor in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2007, Charles Schwab honored him with its prestigious IMPACT Award® for “Best in Tech” award, in 2008 Financial Planning Magazine included Friedman in its elite list of financial “Movers and Shakers” and he was recognized in 2017 on InvestmentNews Icons and Innovators list.

In 2018, Greg was named CEO of the Year at the WealthManagement.com Industry Awards. He is the author of two books for advisors, Advisory Leadership: Using the Seven Steps of Heart Culture to Create Lasting Success for Any Wealth Management Firm, published in 2015, and the Financial Advisor M&A Guidebook, published in 2018.

Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Courtney held positions at CEB, Scudder, Stevens & Clark, Columbia Asset Management, MFS Investment Management, AARP Financial and The Hartford. He is a frequent speaker at industry and company events and is often quoted in the financial trade press. He has nearly 30 years of financial services experience in operations, client service, sales, product management and business development roles.

Mr. Courtney earned his M.A. from Northeastern University and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a certificate in Advanced Financial Planning from Merrimack College and is a Certified Financial Planner professional.

 

Amy Flourry

Amy Flourry is Principal at Rehmann Wealth in the firm’s Lansing, Michigan office.

Flourry has held operational roles in the financial services industry since 1998 and she joined Rehmann in 2001. As the Director of Operations for Rehmann Wealth, she represented the wealth management division across the firm.

She has extensive experience in management, business development and overseeing daily operations such as: supervising staff, providing training on systems and processes, managing technology, assisting with business combinations by acting as a liaison between Rehmann Wealth and the parent firm, onboarding and offboarding.

Flourry was instrumental in developing Rehmann’s broker dealer practice. She holds a unique perspective in the financial services industry due to her experience with both registered investment advisors and broker dealers.

Additionally, Flourry serves as chair of the Rehmann Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) Council and has been a member since 2012.


Flourry holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.

Darrin Courtney

Darrin Courtney is a VP Analyst, Global Financial Services Industry (Analysis & Evaluation), Research & Advisory, specializing in wealth management. Mr. Courtney advises executives on their most pressing challenges, focusing on both business and technology initiatives, via strategy sessions, inquiry calls and event participation. His research advisory areas include tools that enhance advisor/client collaboration, including financial planning, portfolio management, client reporting, aggregation, digital tools and other wealth-related platforms.

Prior to joining Gartner, Mr. Courtney held positions at CEB, Scudder, Stevens & Clark, Columbia Asset Management, MFS Investment Management, AARP Financial and The Hartford. He is a frequent speaker at industry and company events and is often quoted in the financial trade press. He has nearly 30 years of financial services experience in operations, client service, sales, product management and business development roles.

Mr. Courtney earned his M.A. from Northeastern University and B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also holds a certificate in Advanced Financial Planning from Merrimack College and is a Certified Financial Planner professional.

 

T. Neil Bathon

T. Neil Bathon is managing partner of Fuse Research Network, a leading-edge decision support firm that employs a highly refined market intelligence capability to deliver informed, decisive and forward-looking guidance to firms in the asset management industry. Fuse Research Network delivers tactical research-based, client-specific recommendations that improve the productivity and effectiveness of the resources devoted to sales, marketing, and product management.

Timothy D. Welsh

Timothy D. Welsh, CFP® is president, CEO and founder of Nexus Strategy LLC, a leading consulting firm to the wealth management industry. Nexus Strategy’s primary focus is working with leading financial services and technology firms to distribute products and services through the advisor channel.

Prior to founding Nexus Strategy, Tim was director of business consulting services for Schwab Advisor Services, where he led the development and marketing of practice management resources for independent advisors. While at Schwab, Tim also held senior roles in Strategy, Marketing, Advertising, PR and Industry Content development.

Prior to joining Schwab, Tim was vice president at Merrill Lynch, where he was responsible for marketing, product development and financial advisor training for the financial planning group. Tim is frequently quoted in the wealth management media on a wide range of business management and industry topics. He is the author of a number of industry white papers, a guest columnist for RIABiz, Investment News and WealthManagement.com, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA in finance from the University of Colorado.

Tim holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), where he serves in a leadership role on a number of task forces and committees, and was formerly an elected member of the National Board of Directors.

Toussaint Bailey

Toussaint is an impact investor and the CEO of Enso Wealth Management, which was recently named one of Financial Times Top 300 wealth management firms, having grown to over a billion dollars in assets under management since its founding in 2017. As an impact investor, Toussaint focuses on expanding accessibility to impact investments and re-envisioning impact themes to better include underrepresented founders and fund managers. At Enso Wealth, Toussaint focuses on operationalizing the firm’s mission to “translate wealth into fulfillment” for all stakeholders.

Outside of his finance work, Toussaint created the Just Listen Project, which is endeavors to heal racism by feeling into the personal experiences of unheard colleagues and friends. He is an avid student of the science of well-being and emotional health. He serves on the board of advisors of Search Inside Yourself, a practical mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and leadership training organization spun out of Google.
Most importantly, Toussaint is a proud Girl Dad to the third power.

David Armstrong

David Armstrong is the editor-in-chief and executive director of content and user engagement for WealthManagement.com and its print component, Wealth Management magazine.

His journalism career began at Fox News, where he was one of the first business reporters for Foxnews.com. He worked at Forbes magazine for eight years, covering everything from entrepreneurs to technology to finance. There, he was a co-editor of the Forbes 400, the annual ranking of the 400 richest people in America.

In addition to his journalism background, Armstrong was a senior editor at HNW, a boutique marketing company, crafting messages and communications directed at high-net-worth clients of financial advisors from clients including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Wells Fargo, UBS and Northern Trust. In that role, he also helped spearhead major bespoke research projects—both qualitative and quantitative, on HNW investors and their relationship with financial advisors—for clients like Fidelity, Lincoln Financial and RBC Wealth Management.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has taken post-graduate courses at the New School for Social Research.