is trying out a new Web-based research product for institutional clients. The Chicago-based firm said Morningstar Direct
will allow institutional investment professionals throughout the world to connect to its database and research.
The new product debuted this week and replaces the Morningstar DataLab
, which contained investment data on U.S. open-end mutual funds, separate accounts, and variable annuity investments.
Morningstar Direct covers the same investments as DataLab along with expanded data covering several additional investment types. The service covers roughly 25,000 European mutual funds, including 10,000 offshore funds. It is also the first Morningstar product to incorporate data on hedge funds and hedge funds of funds. Finally, it adds data on exchange-traded funds and closed-end funds.
"Adding these new investment types significantly enhances the research capabilities of our users. Particularly as institutions expand internationally, they can use our platform to conduct research and make investment comparisons across continents," said Joe Mansueto
, chairman and chief executive officer of Morningstar.
The service has also added reporting and screening capabilities that did not exist before, including increased compatibility with PowerPoint
and Adobe PDF
, new graphs and pre- defined reports, and more ways to customize reports.
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