M* Is Creating a New Asset Manager Marketplace
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

M* Is Creating a New Asset Manager Marketplace

An investment research titan is about to create a new supermarket for advisors to access asset managers' work. And at least one asset management giant has already signed on.

Kunal Kapoor
Morningstar will launch a Model Marketplace in early 2018, M* CEO Kunal Kapoor tells advisors and fundsters in his opening remarks at the 2017 Morningstar Investment Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago. Kapoor already has buy-in from the biggest asset manager in the world, and he's looking for more managers and strategists.

"BlackRock [emphasis added] has already signed up to be a part of that venture, and we are talking to others," Kapoor says.

Morningstar already offers a Managed Portfolios service, managing billions in assets for thousands of advisors, and Kapoor pitches the planned Model Marketplace as for all those advisors who are "not all ready to give up full discretion."

"We will have portfolio models available from different asset managers ... for you to select and subscribe to," Kapoor says. Then the advisor can "basically mimic" those portfolio models in building portfolios for your clients.

RIA custodian TD Ameritrade, as MFWire reported back in February, is also working on a model marketplace with third-party managers.

Kapoor also hinted at four other new things coming from Morningstar, including: 1) more data analytics for fixed income, to help advisors better tell a fixed income product's story; 2) a Best Interest Scorecard to help advisors lay out their value to clients and weigh big decisions like to rollover or not to rollover; 3) a new set of wealth management tools coming later this year to simplify advisors' research processes; and 4) a new Data Catalyst offering that ties into M*'s ByAllAccounts data aggregation.

"We believe that advisors add a tremendous amount of value," Kapoor says. "We need to help you and be a partner in how you communicate that value."

Kapoor framed his remarks around what he says is the backdrop of this year's 27th annual Morningstar Investment Conference.

"There is no better time to be an investor," Kapoor says. "Fees are at generational lows, technology ... is as powerful as it's ever been. The quality of advice that's available to investors is as good as it's ever been."

"This is an amazing time to be an investor and to build relationships with your clients," Kapoor tells advisors.

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