Morningstar upgrades research platform

Source: Morningstar

Morningstar (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today launched the latest version of Morningstar Direct, a Web-based global research platform that connects institutional investment professionals directly to Morningstar's full universe of investment research and data.

The most significant enhancement to Morningstar Direct is the Presentation Studio interface, which allows asset managers, consultants, institutional investors, and retirement plan sponsors to quickly and easily create fully customized reports, presentations, and fact sheets featuring their company's brand design. Presentation Studio allows users to have full control over both the content and format of reports--using professionally designed data tables and charts--to communicate the data behind their research and recommendations.

Key features of the new Presentation Studio include:

  • A complete library of report book templates, allowing a user to analyze a single investment or an entire peer group or lineup.
  • Page components that immediately populate a report book with current data after an investment is selected for analysis.
  • Changes to time periods, investments, benchmarks, and other settings can be made once and applied to the entire report book.
  • "Drag and drop" functionality, enabling users to place their choice of charts and tables from the report book to create their presentation.
  • Easily resizable page features that allow users to include their logo, disclaimer or notes, and apply their corporate color palette and fonts.

"With templates designed around users' workflow, Morningstar's Presentation Studio can streamline the creation of presentations, competitive analysis reports, and fact sheets," said Bevin Desmond, president of institutional software for Morningstar. "These new presentation capabilities make it easy and efficient for our users to create professionally designed communications materials. When you combine these new features with our comprehensive data and functionality for peer, performance, and risk analysis, Morningstar Direct provides investment professionals with a single, comprehensive resource for analyzing investments and communicating their findings to clients."

In addition to Presentation Studio, the latest version of Morningstar Direct includes enhancements to the Performance Attribution feature, which Morningstar introduced earlier this year. It now includes importing of client accounts and portfolio holdings for daily attribution, batch reporting, and Adobe PDF attribution reports. This allows equity managers to compare the investment managers' contribution to performance via security selection and allocation of assets versus a benchmark. Another key innovation is total portfolio attribution. This functionality allows users such as fund-of-fund managers to review attribution at a macro level, evaluating investment managers' role in performance via manager selection and asset allocation versus a set of strategic investment policies.

Morningstar also added new investment data to Direct, including historical assets data for separate accounts and its new target-date fund series reports. Additionally, Morningstar Direct now offers the option to change the platform's language settings to English, Mandarin Chinese, or Italian.

Launched in 2001, Morningstar Direct offers centralized access to current and historical data from the entire Morningstar global database. This Web-based platform equips more than 950 institutions globally with highly customizable tools for selecting, developing, and monitoring investments. More information on Morningstar Direct can be found at:

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