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Wealth Advisor Growth Network launches platform for independent wealth managers


Wealth Advisor Growth Network (WAGN) has launched a new investment offering designed to help independent wealth managers better serve their clients and grow their practice, working in collaboration with WealthShield, LibertyFi and Morningstar.

Through this new collaboration, Morningstar offers independent advisors the opportunity to use its unique index offering through WAGN’s platform, which allows financial advisors to create direct index approaches to empower their investor clients across a wide range of asset classes, investment styles and strategies. In addition to unique indexes, advisors on WAGN’s platform can also access the broad set of tools and capabilities that Morningstar offers to help empower their clients and grow their business including independent research, asset allocation and portfolio insights, manager selection and technology solutions.

Direct indexing, which utilises technology to construct a custom investment portfolio mirroring the composition of a market index, can lower the cost of investing and optimise after-tax returns by increasing control of underlying securities and enhancing tax-efficiencies and risk management. It can also enable greater portfolio customisation to reflect the values of clients, such as alignment with socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investing goals.

This new direct index offering combines Morningstar’s unique indexing capability with integrated technology, comprehensive reporting and full operational support from WAGN to help advisors create a more efficient business model, robust investment solutions and a more complete and unique experience for clients.

“Our mission at Morningstar is to empower investor success,” says Ron Bundy, president of Morningstar Indexes. “Direct indexing is a powerful way to personalise investor portfolios and help drive the outcomes they seek for their unique situations. Morningstar is helping investors pursue those outcomes by making our high-quality indexes and wealth of independent data and insights available to independent advisors.”

WAGN is implementing the new offering with firms across the independent wealth management industry. WAGN will be responsible for conducting due diligence and identifying growth-driven wealth firms who desire access to direct indexing and have the right infrastructure in place to meaningfully execute such strategies while delivering Unified Managed Accounts (UMAs), trading, rebalancing, reporting and other back-office support.

WAGN will also offer advice and best practices to help firms who do not yet have the integrated solutions, technology and operating environment to take advantage of the new offering.

“We are excited to align with Morningstar Indexes to address a gap in the wealth management industry,” says John Phoenix, Co-Founder at WAGN. “Together, we are helping advisors turbocharge growth, enhance efficiencies and unlock new possibilities for their clients and the wealth management industry as a whole.”

WealthShield, an OCIO firm serving RIAs, is licensing indexes from Morningstar via WAGN to offer direct indexing to their clients. “Morningstar Indexes currently underlie a broad range of investable products in the market such as mutual funds and ETFs. Making these index strategies available to clients as the basis for separate accounts that can be tax managed and customised is a major win,” says Clint Sorenson, Co-Founder of WealthShield.

MG&A Wealth has been selected as the first official wealth management partner to benefit from this new collaboration. MG&A is a comprehensive wealth management firm in South Florida. The firm was founded in 1984 and advises over USD950 million of assets. Importantly, MG&A has created an integrated operating environment that, through its work with LibertyFi, is fully equipped with the UMA capabilities, back-office services and complete infrastructure to deliver direct indexing.

“Direct indexing is important to our advisors and clients and we are excited to have access to Morningstar’s full suite of capabilities through WAGN,” says Todd Battaglia, President & CEO of MG&A Wealth. “The collaboration greatly advances our ability to deliver an exceptional experience to clients while also enhancing MG&A’s focus on growth and the bottom line.”

“The MG&A announcement represents the first in a series of strategic partnerships with independent wealth advisors that we will be establishing across the country,” adds Phoenix.

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