Investment giant Morningstar has its eyes set on the UK advice market now that the acquisition of Praemium UK and International, which will be named Morningstar Wealth Platform, has completed.
At a panel discussion attended by International Adviser on 30 June 2022, Morningstar chief executive Kunal Kapoor said there is a real opportunity to help advisers better deliver value to the end investors, in a landscape where advisers “have the potential to serve more clients than ever before”.
Kapoor believes that Morningstar, by leveraging Praemium’s existing platform and business, has the capabilities to help advisers with their post-RDR needs, with a greater focus on investment planning and outsourcing.
Steve Croucher, managing director of Morningstar Wealth Emea, and Mark Sanderson, managing director of Praemium UK and International, both added that the firms’ growth plans in the advice market must be underpinned by greater technological offerings.
Kapoor believes there is an “urgency” in advice-tech due to the fact that, despite advances in the last decade – also boosted by pandemic – the level of technology available to financial advisers “is not where it should be”.
Advisers in focus
Technological development is a big priority for Morningstar post-acquisition. The firm is seeking greater investment in the technology the Praemium platform can provide.
Morningstar is currently building tech teams in Edinburgh and Delhi to add to Praemium’s existing operations in a bid to expand its UK footprint.
The plan, Sanderson added, is to help advisers connect, understand and engage with clients; and this can be done by giving them the tools to be proactive.
This means that advisers should not wait around for their customers to contact them, rather be the ones initiating conversations and activities, he said.
For Kapoor, there are three areas of priority within outsourcing for the Morningstar-Praemium business: investment management capabilities; reporting as part of “communication value” advisers can offer to clients – which must include ESG; and technology.
On the ESG front, the chief executive added the company is gearing up to unveil tools to help advisers talk to clients about sustainability, as Croucher added that there currently is a “big space for education” in the market.