April 22, 2022

Given that asset-based revenues are “below average” margins, at what level of assets under management or scale will this business reach the corporate average margin? How should shareholders think about incremental margins for this business for every $1 of incremental revenue for Morningstar’s asset-based segment?

At our 2020 annual meeting, we shared that the aggregate margins in our asset-based product areas, based on certain cost-allocation methodologies, were below our corporate average margin at the time.  Investment Management was included in that grouping.  While we cannot provide forward guidance on margins, we are experiencing positive operating leverage as our products and investment strategies within Investment Management attract assets.  That was indeed the case last year within Managed Portfolios, if we exclude the impact of the disclosed client losses that were a result of our strategy shift.  We are focusing on growing our AUM and saw improving momentum last year driven by performance, efforts around sales and marketing, and investments in the TAMP.  This was evidenced by over $1 billion in net flows in 2021, which helped contribute to a 13.3% increase in AUM in Managed Portfolios.

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