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Martha Conlon Mossmartha.moss@morningstar.com
Morningstar Launches New Version of MorningstarAdvisor.com, Sets the Stage for First Web-based Advisor Workstation

CHICAGO, Apr 05, 2001 – Morningstar Inc., a leading provider of investment information and analytical tools, today launched a new version of its Web site for financial advisors, www.MorningstarAdvisor.comSM. Morningstar is making structural changes to the site, streamlining navigation, and adding new content and features as it prepares to introduce the first comprehensive Web-based workstation for financial advisors later this year.

"Financial advisors have depended on Morningstar print, software, or Web products for more than 15 years to help them service clients," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business unit. "During the last year, we have significantly expanded our product and service offerings to meet the changing needs of advisors and their practices. Our Web site redesign is the next step in our plan, which will culminate with the introduction of the Morningstar Advisor Workstation, a comprehensive set of online tools that we expect to offer in stages this year."

Morningstar launched MorningstarAdvisor.com in July 2000 and currently has nearly 50,000 registered users. Morningstar has added the following new features to its advisor Web site:

  • Due Diligence Center: Provides answers to qualitative-research questions from a wide range of investment programs from mutual funds to real estate investment trusts (REITS). The newest fund-company participants include Janus, Lend Lease Funds, Northern Funds, William Blair Funds, Zurich Scudder Investments, and many more. Morningstar's Due Diligence Center helps advisors streamline the process of comparing due diligence information from different mutual-fund families by establishing an industry-standard format and a database of nearly 100 Due Diligence Questionnaires (DDQs) on individual investments from a growing list of institutions. The DDQs contain responses to questions regarding mutual-fund families and the various investment options they offer. They are most powerful when used in conjunction with an investment's corresponding Morningstar Report, containing investment information advisors have depended on for years.
  • Marketplace: The MorningstarAdvisor.com Marketplace section includes a number of "best of breed" Web-based service providers that have been selected to meet the needs of financial advisors, saving them time by offering instant access in one convenient place. Morningstar launched its Marketplace section in February with five partners including AnnuityNet Advisor, Financeware, OptionWealth, Search 401(k), and FP Books. The Marketplace section's newest partners include AdvisorMart, which offers back-office accounting, reconciliation, and client-reporting capabilities; BridgePortfolio, a service by which advisors cost-effectively offer money-management services to lower net-worth clients; and SparData, a company that helps advisors appraise businesses during the estate-planning process. 
  • New Editorial Content: Advisors can log in to MorningstarAdvisor.com every day and find fresh, new editorial content including unbiased perspectives from Morningstar experts and financial-planning gurus from across the country. Visitors can get a frank--and occasionally irreverent--perspective on mutual funds and market trends from Morningstar's Fund Spy, a column written by Morningstar mutual-fund analysts, and may read articles from The Dismal Scientist, a Web site that specializes in providing economic news and data. 

Joel Bruckenstein, a MorningstarAdvisor.com reporter, will share his technological expertise in financial-planning software reviews and in the new Advisor Tech Q & A column. Morningstar's director of financial planning, Sue Stevens, weighs in on a wide spectrum of advisor issues. Readers also will find regular articles on portfolio building, financial planning, and the use of technology.

  • Instant Access from Morningstar® Principia® Pro software: Advisors will be able to link directly to MorningstarAdvisor.com from within their Morningstar Principia Pro software. A single click takes advisors directly from an investment in the Morningstar Principia Pro database to its corresponding online Morningstar Report or Due Diligence Report.

In June, Morningstar will begin to launch its new Advisor Workstation. Over several phases, advisors will have access to an integrated suite of Web-based planning, research, and portfolio tools designed to help them serve clients more efficiently. MorningstarAdvisor.com members can click on the "Workstation" tab on the navigation bar for status updates on Morningstar's plans.

"The advisory profession is in a period of rapid change and development, and Morningstar continues to create industry standards for investment and portfolio analysis. First we introduced the Morningstar Star Rating and Style Box, then it was Morningstar Principia Pro software. Our latest technological advances include the Due Diligence Center and the redesigned MorningstarAdvisor.com Web site that will serve as the platform for our new online Advisor Workstation later this year," said Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar. "Simply put, our goal is to provide planners with tools and technology that help them complete tasks more effectively so they can spend more time building client relationships."

About Morningstar
Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. is a leading, independent provider of investment information and analytical tools. Morningstar supplies a variety of products and services to professional investment advisors, including Morningstar® Principia® Pro investment management software, Morningstar Mutual Funds™, the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, and the Morningstar Professional Education Series

Morningstar's Web site for advisors, www.MorningstarAdvisor.comSM, offers Morningstar Reports on more than 24,000 stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and variable/annuity subaccounts. 

Morningstar does not own, operate, or hold any interest in investment products

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