Morningstar has been named the Money Management Research House of the Year, wresting the title from Lonsec which had won it for the past several years.
Morningstar impressed survey respondents drawn from the Money Management Top 100 Dealer Groups with the capabilities of its staff and client servicing, as well as fund and manager research and website and software tools.
The research house was considered by 85 per cent of survey respondents to be 'good’ overall, with a further 15 per cent rating it as 'excellent’ overall. Lonsec was rated 78 per cent as 'good’ overall and by 7 per cent as 'excellent’ overall.
The results show a shift from last year, when a quarter of survey respondents labelled Morningstar as 'poor’ overall, with that shift also being seen in the ratings for its funds research.
While in 2012 just over half of respondents rated Morningstar as 'good’ in funds research, a third rated it as 'poor’. However this year more than 45 per cent of respondents rated it 'good’ and a similar number rated it 'excellent’, with no-one rating it as 'poor’.
Morningstar head of fund research, Asia-Pacific, Grant Kennaway said Morningstar had striven for consistency over the past few years and had provided analyst access to clients as a way of adding value to its research results and online tools.
A comparison with survey results from last year shows that Morningstar has tracked well over the past 12 months in areas such as website tools and information and client services. In 2012 respondents were evenly split between rating its website tools as 'good’ or 'excellent’, while this year 81 per cent rated it 'excellent’.
A bigger swing was evident on the question of client service, where about a third of respondents last year rated Morningstar as 'awful’ or 'poor’ in this area, and only about 50 per cent rated it as 'good’. This year nearly 75 per cent rated it as 'good’ and a further 20 per cent as 'excellent’.
Other research houses which rated well in particular categories include Lonsec and van Eyk, which were highly rated for their funds research, model portfolios and asset allocation research. Lonsec and Zenith rated well for client services, while van Eyk and Zenith were rated well for their website information and tools.
Mercer was a standout in the areas of corporate strength - with 75 per cent of respondents rating it 'excellent’ - and staff, with 100 per cent rating it 'good’.