Peter Bryant

Morningstar is set to launch a ratings system to support advisers choosing super funds for clients and it hopes its track record of dealing with managed funds gives it an edge over super fund-focused incumbents in the space.

“Super funds want to lift their member engagement, but they are also focused on working with financial advisers,” Morningstar’s enterprise managing director in Australia, Peter Byrant, tells Professional Planner.

“They are looking at how they can be easy to work with for financial advisers.”

The US-based financial research house, which has some 200 hundred staff in Australia, is working on its own brand of ratings for Australian super funds which will cover performance, fees, and other features such as insurance. Byrant says it’s working closely with funds to obtain the data needed.

“We’ve now got all the publicly available data on fees, features and performance across superannuation,” Bryant says.

“We have a number of funds who are providing us with much more detailed information at the investment option level. We’re in discussions with other funds about providing us more information so we can provide the best information to members and advisers.”

However, the firm has yet to announce a time when its super fund ratings service in Australia will launch.

Bryant says most of the super funds Morningstar have been talking to were keen to provide more information for the new ratings service as they saw it as a way to provide information to financial advisers for their clients.

He says financial advisers were also keen for more information on the investment options within super funds to provide advice to their clients.

“Financial advisers really need quality research which takes into account the fees, features and performance of the super fund they are recommending to their clients,” Bryant says.