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Rating:Morningstar Branching Out Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, October 15, 1999

Morningstar Branching Out

Reported by Jason Shank

Morningstar continues to expand its coverage of the financial services market beyond investment products, today announcing that it would be offering E-Loan's loan products and services through a co-branded mortgage loan center on the Morningstar site.

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Dublin, California's E-Loan was formed in 1997, initially offering online mortgage operations until September 1999 when it added car loans, credit card and small business loans to its product line.

"E-LOAN shares Morningstar's commitment to provide customers with a wide selection of superior products and information," said Liz Kirscher, manager, Internet Business Development Group at Morningstar.

Chicago-based Morningstar has made several moves in the months following a cash infusion of $90 million from Softbank that reflects the company's clear intent to grow the Morningstar brand as a full service financial website.

Morningstar analysts now offer 75 Analyst Picks of their recommended stocks in each style box, expanding beyond the company's traditional star rating system. The website will soon offer an advice product, announced in early August, with details rumored to be announced in late October. Executives familiar with the advice and education process have also been hired to support the upcoming product. All in all, Morningstar is aggressively pursuing niches that have not yet been satisfactorily been filled online.

Most analysts agree that of the major players that will come out of the Internet scrum in the next few years, several will be names that don't come to mind immediately -- the AOLs, Ebays and Amazons of the Internet world. Certainly all signs point towards Morningstar's intent to be one of those players. 

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