Morningstar signs BlackRock to new platform for financial advisors

Source: Morningstar

Morningstar (NASDAQ:MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced Morningstar Site Builder, a new Web-based platform consisting of Morningstar's financial advisor tools, content, and reports that investment firms can seamlessly add to their existing advisor Web sites.

Site Builder includes a broad range of Morningstar investment research, portfolio analysis tools, and sales and educational materials to augment firms' online Web properties. Site Builder can be integrated into an existing Web site's framework to encompass a firm's brand identity, design elements, and style sheets.

BlackRock recently licensed Morningstar Site Builder for use by financial advisors as a key component in the launch of its new external Financial Professional Web site. BlackRock's site has received accolades from industry sources, including Dalbar's Mutual Fund Web Monitor Q4 - 2007 rankings, and independent consultant kasina's 2007 Top 10 Web Sites for Financial Intermediaries.

"Investment companies acknowledge that the Web is playing an increasingly important role in wholesaling activities and in delivering useful product information to financial advisors," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business. "A strong online presence is an essential part of a fund company's marketing, education, and service strategy to help advisors and, in turn, end-investors. With that, it's critical for firms to differentiate themselves and provide more dynamic content to engage advisors."

"Financial professionals have a great deal of choice in the asset managers they select on behalf of their clients, which means we need to provide a high level of service and support," said Scott Finder, managing director, eBusiness, BlackRock. "Our Web presence is a critical touch point and it needs to provide a positive experience for financial professionals. High impact tools and content, organized in an intuitive fashion, ensures that advisors can get what they need quickly, allowing them to focus the bulk of their time on client relationships. Trusted investment research and software tool providers like Morningstar help make our site significantly more valuable."

Firms can select all, or some of the following Morningstar tools and associated Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)-reviewed reports and presentations for their sites: Hypothetical Illustrator, Portfolio Analysis, Portfolio Comparison, Fund Comparison, Stock Intersection, Investment Detail Reports, Fund Profile Pages, Fund Cost Comparison, Share Class Cost Comparison, Fund Screener, Find Similar Funds, Retirement and College Savings Calculator, Retirement Income Illustrator, and Ibbotson Presentations and Sales Ideas.

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