Morningstar: We’re confident we can win over advisers

Morningstar: We’re confident we can win over advisers
AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

Morningstar is confident advisers will switch to its newly purchased platform Praemium if IFAs give it the time of day.

In a briefing today (June 30), the investment firm laid out its plans for the UK platform as the deal worth £35mn completed.

Morningstar’s investment management boss for Europe, Steve Croucher, said he has spoken to plenty of advisers throughout the sale process.

“They haven’t included Praemium in their beauty parades,” he said. “But we think the platform is incredibly good and that Wealthcraft is the best kept secret in the UK financial services industry. It saved advisers a lot of time and effort.”

Wealthcraft is an additional tool Praemium has built which helps advisers with things like digital factoring, engagement, and risk profiling.

“If we can get into the room with advisers, we’re confident we can win them over,” said Croucher, who is keen for Praemium to go out and start demoing to advice firms.

The business is also confident that once Praemium is rebranded under the Morningstar name, this will help gain the trust of advisers who already use the firm’s data for client reporting.

Praemium consists of some 100 employees, but Morningstar is currently building technology teams in Edinburgh and Delhi to support its expansion across the UK.

The new owner’s chief executive, Kunal Kapoor, said his team “feel tremendous urgency” to get behind Praemium and expand its reach to advisers.

“Our plan isn’t to do a revamp tomorrow, opportunity now is to expand its use,” said Kapoor.

“We feel tremendous urgency, and that means we’re going to get behind it and take it forward. This isn’t a passive investment.

“We have to keep automating the repetitive stuff. It’s just going to be a constant process.”

Asked how Morningstar plans to woo advisers, Kapoor said it will be through letting them pick and choose their technology.

“From the basic tech stack, all the way up to the portfolios - we’re giving advisers choice. Our plan isn’t to do a revamp tomorrow, the opportunity now is to expand its use.”

Kapoor reckons advisers are more conditioned to transitions now than they have been in the past. 

He also said there are opportunities for Morningstar to invest in the process behind switching platforms to make it easier for advisers to move their clients over.

Praemium already has a set of digital transitioning tools in place to ease this process, but Kapoor is keen to go further and invest more heavily in Praemium’s technology to make it even more “friction-free”, though the specifics are yet to be outlined.

Praemium’s owner decided to offload its UK business due to its small scale putting it at a disadvantage to competitors.