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Morningstar Investment Conference


June 11–13, 2018 | McCormick Place, Chicago


Morningstar presents the latest developments on financial advice from the industry’s top minds. Discover new perspectives on the market and ideas to put into practice.




The conference brings together some of the financial industry's top minds.


Keynote Speakers


Walter Bettinger
Charles Schwab

Jeremy Grantham

Mellody Hobson
Ariel Investments

Daniel Kahneman
Behavioral Economist

Kunal Kapoor

Kevin Kelly


Featured Speakers


David Herro

Diana Strandberg
Dodge & Cox


On the Agenda


Agenda subject to change.


8 a.m.–7:30 p.m.

Registration Open

10 a.m.–11 a.m.

Fund Ratings Systems & Performance

Research Showcase

We run the gamut from the basics of the Morningstar Rating for funds (the “star rating”) to the methodology behind the Morningstar Analyst Rating for funds, our forward-looking, subjective rating, and discuss our analysis of each rating system’s efficacy.


Social Comparisons and Financial Well-Being

Research Showcase

Sarah Newcomb, Morningstar

Humans have a natural drive for social comparisons as a means toto make sense of our place in the world. Recent work by Morningstar explored how social comparisons affect overall financial well-being. This talk offers an overview of the relationship between how we compare ourselves withto others and how we feel about ourselves – when it comes to money. Participants will learn the pitfalls and benefits of both upward and downward comparisons and gain practical tips on how to improve overall financial well-being with simple mind-set changes.


Evaluating the Federal Government’s Approach to Helping Investors

Research Showcase

Aron Szapiro, Morningstar

Morningstar’s director of policy research walks through the main ways the government tries to nudge ordinary people to invest wisely—tax incentives, disclosure, and direct regulation of advice—and what decades of mixed results tell us about the future of regulation and how to help investors succeed.

11 a.m.–12 p.m.

What’s New With Morningstar Indexes?

Research Showcase

Dan Lefkovitz, Morningstar

Morningstar Indexes combine the science and art of indexing to give investors a clearer view into the world’s financial markets. In this session, you’ll learn about our Open Indexes program for asset managers, new index series that we’ve developed to help investors, and trends in indexing that are relevant to both advisors and asset managers


Women in Investing: Morningstar's Latest Research

Research Showcase

Laura Lutton, Morningstar / Madison Sargis, Morningstar


New Data for Choosing and Understanding Funds & Companies

Research Showcase

Nick Vasilos, Morningstar / Janet Yang, Morningstar

1 p.m.–2 p.m.

New Tools for Sustainable Investing

Research Showcase

Jon Hale, Morningstar

In this session, you’ll learn about the latest techniques for identifying and evaluating environmental, social, and governance vehicles for your clients. We introduced the now-familiar Morningstar Sustainability Rating for funds in 2016 and have followed it with additional enhancements, including a significant new suite of tools and data that will be announced prior to the Morningstar Investment Conference.


Quant Variety Show: Flows, Attribution & Scenario Analysis

Research Showcase

Lee Davidson, Morningstar

Learn about the latest work from our 40-strong quantitative analysis team. You’ll hear about our new scenario analysis tool and the latest in attribution and risk decomposition capabilities, and you’ll get an introduction to our new factors-that-drive-asset-flows dashboard.


The Latest in Beta Research

Research Showcase

Ben Johnson, Morningstar

Learn about new research and tools we have developed to help advisors stay on top of investing in beta and strategic-beta strategies. We review the findings from the Active/Passive Scorecard report, explain the new strategic-beta attributes for classifying strategies, and cover other pertinent topics.

2 p.m.–3 p.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Opening Remarks With Kunal Kapoor, CEO, Morningstar


Kunal Kapoor, CEO, Morningstar

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

A Conversation With Walt Bettinger, CEO, Charles Schwab


Walt Bettinger, CEO, Charles Schwab

4:35 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired magazine


5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall

7 a.m.–6 p.m.

Registration Open

7 a.m.–8 a.m.

Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8 a.m.–9 a.m.

A Conversation With Daniel Kahneman


9:10 a.m.–10 a.m.

Taming Your Technologies


Dermot O'Mahony, Morningstar / Spenser Segal, ActiFi / Bill Winterberg,

When technology is working well, it can give advisors the freedom to do what they’re best at. The time saved can be used to introduce valuable new services, build lasting relationships with clients, understand client motivations, and personalize their investment strategies. In today’s investor-centric environment, these are all critical to the success of a modern advisor’s practice.


Rise of the Bond Pickers: Credit-Based Fixed-Income Strategies


Ryan Brist, Western Asset Management / Mohit Mittal, PIMCO / Elaine Stokes, Loomis Sayles

Corporate bonds have enjoyed a strong run since the depths of the financial crisis, leaving valuations at historically rich levels. Find out how these skilled bond-pickers identify winning credits, manage risk, and deliver compelling returns in ever-changing markets.


The Rise of the Machines


Osman Ali, Goldman Sachs / Kevin Franklin, BlackRock / Marcos Lopez de Prado, True Positive Technologies

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, oh my! Asset managers are engaged in an arms race, trying to outgun one another with ever more intricate data sets and sophisticated means of parsing them. This panel will explore how asset managers are leveraging these tools and whether they can provide managers a sustainable edge.


On the Cutting Edge of Retirement Research


Moderator: Christine Benz, Morningstar / David Blanchett, Morningstar / Jeff Holt, Morningstar / Aron Szapiro, Morningstar

Join Morningstar’s retirement experts as they discuss withdrawal rates, glide paths, behavioral factors, trends in financing healthcare, such as health savings accounts, and the evolving role of annuities in retirement planning.

10 a.m.–11 a.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

11 a.m.–11:50 a.m.

Manager Selection From a Practitioner's Perspective


Phil Huber, Huber Financial / Anna Snider, Merrill Lynch / Michelle Ward, Morningstar

When it comes to choosing strategies for a portfolio or platform, the pros weigh many factors, including potential returns, risk, and cost. This panel will discuss how they distinguish manager skill from luck and how their priorities may be changing amid more scrutiny on performance and price.


Smart Plays in Developing Markets


Penny Foley, TCW / Anujeet Sareen, Brandywine Funds / Jeremy Schwartz, WisdomTree

Investors in search of growth often turn to emerging markets, tapping both equity and bonds in developing countries. In this discussion, the panelists will outline the best approaches to investing in the sector without taking on excessive risk.


Making Sense of the Multitude of Multi-Factor ETFs


Yasmin Dahya, JP Morgan / FeiFei Li, Research Affiliates / Antonio Picca, Vanguard

Multifactor ETFs have multiplied in recent years. Spreading one’s factor bets makes sense. But making sense of the current menu of these funds is a tall task. Our expert panel will unpack the key considerations investors should make when doing their due diligence on these funds.


Show Me the Income


Moderator: Jeremy Glaser, Morningstar / Christine Benz, Morningstar / Wyatt Lee, T. Rowe Price / Marta Norton, Morningstar

In a low-yield world, investors are hungry for income, and fund companies have developed often innovative new ways to meet that demand. At this session, you'll hear the pros and cons about all sorts of income-oriented strategies, ranging from more-esoteric managed-payout funds to even the humble balanced fund.

12 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

A Conversation With Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments

Lunch Keynote Presentation

Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments

1:40 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

What Drives Investor Success?


Steve Wendel, Morningstar

Morningstar has always striven to help individual investors succeed, and we play a pivotal role by providing them with the right tools and information to help them make the right decisions. However, this conversation must be extended to identify what drives this success. From behavioral science, we know that information alone is not enough because individuals face many other barriers to success that lead to an array of challenges. This presentation tackles key questions surrounding investor success such as: Who are investors? What are their goals? Are investors succeeding? What are the drivers of their success? What should the industry do to better enable this success?


Cryptocurrencies' Role in Portfolios


Stan Delaney, Morgan Stanley Investments

Bitcoin is real and at the top of investors' minds. All major ETF companies have filed for cryptocurrency funds. Does Bitcoin belong in clients’ portfolios? Is it even an asset class? What happens when a client brings their substantial Bitcoin holdings? How can you converse with clients about crypto? Come to this panel to find out.


Defensive Equity Investing


Darby Nielson, Fidelity / Raman Aylur Subramanian, MSCI / Meggan Walsh, Invesco

Should interest rates continue to rise, investors in stodgy traditional strategies may be in for a surprise. Panelists will discuss how playing defense through buying dividend-payers and less-volatile stocks may leave one’s flank exposed in a rising-rate environment.


The Future of Diversification


Moderator: Dan McNeela, Morningstar / Bob Boyda, John Hancock / Anne Lester, JP Morgan / Brad Vogt, American Funds

U.S. large-cap stocks have been on a multiyear performance tear, and investors in everything from international equities to alternatives and much else in between are asking why they bothered diversifying. In this session, portfolio managers on both sides of the debate will discuss how you should think about the diversification of your clients' portfolios.

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote: Jeremy Grantham, Co-Founder, GMO


Jeremy Grantham, Co-Founder, GMO

4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

Reception in Exhibit Hall

8 a.m.–12 p.m.

Registration Open

8 a.m.–9 a.m.

Breakfast in Exhibit Hall

9 a.m.–10 a.m.

Blockchain: Evolution or Revolution?

General Session

Adley Bowden, PitchBook / Jim Sinegal, Morningstar / Philip Straehl, Morningstar Investment Management

How real are the threats and opportunities that blockchain presents for investors? In this session, we’ll present the results of our extensive bottom-up research into the potential impact of blockchain on the industries that we cover, with an emphasis on financial services. We’ll also look at up-and-coming venture-capital-backed companies that hope to leverage the technology to disrupt companies and business models. The provided mosaic of views will help advisors place future developments around blockchain into a fundamental context that will be communicable to clients.

10 a.m.–11 a.m.

Global Equity Investing in a World of Blurring Borders

General Session

Moderator: Daniel Needham, Morningstar / David Herro, Oakmark Funds / Diana Strandberg, Dodge & Cox

11 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Break in Exhibit Hall

11:40 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Including Sustainability in Your Practice


Moderator: Jon Hale, Morningstar / Michael Janzi, Sustainalytics / Patricia Revas, Verus Wealth


Tax-Free Yield: Finding Opportunity and Avoiding Potholes in Muni Bonds


Melissa Haskell, MFS / James Murphy, T. Rowe Price

Municipal bonds have long been a haven for investors seeking strong returns while avoiding the taxman. This discussion will focus on the best sources for yield—and their relative safety—among both active and passive strategies.


Core and Abhor: Are Growth Strategies Poised for a Comeback?


Moderator: Kevin McDevitt, Morningstar / Kathleen McCarragher, Jennison Associates / Steve Wymer, Fidelity Investments

Investors have been leaving actively managed large-growth strategies in droves, often replacing these funds with broadly diversified passive options. Have investors moved away from the next best thing, or are they better off taking smaller bites at the growth apple? We’ll hear the case for each.


From Fintech to Healthtech: Investing in New Technologies & Business Models


Moderator: Tom Lauricella, Morningstar / Lawrence Johnson, Morningstar / Rodney Nelson, Morningstar / Nizar Tarhuni, PitchBook

Advisors are well aware of the risks and opportunities that emerging technologies present to their businesses. But how might you think about investing in fintech, healthtech, ”Internet of Things,” and other technologies on behalf of your clients? In this session, we’ll discuss emerging business models and the impact of new technologies on incumbent players.


When You Get Here


Welcome to Chicago


It’s Morningstar’s home and a hub for business and culture. You’ll be a quick cab ride away from the Loop, the center of the city. Spending most of the day at McCormick Place, you’re going to be right off Lake Michigan and just steps away from your hotel.


Where You’ll Stay


Unwind at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place or Marriott Marquis Chicago after the conference. Book your room by May 20 for discounted rates.




Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

2233 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Chicago, IL 60616

Book Your Room

Marriott Marquis Chicago

2121 South Prairie Avenue

Chicago, IL 60616

(sold out)


Morningstar does not hire or authorize anyone to contact you to book your hotel rooms at the Hyatt McCormick or Hyatt Regency for the Morningstar Investment Conference. If you are contacted by a third party to book your room at the Hyatt for the Morningstar Investment Conference, please contact:


See You in the Exhibit Hall


Network with people from more than 100 organizations including asset management firms, fintech companies, and media groups. Morningstar experts will be on hand, too—ready to answer questions. 


Aberdeen Standard Investments


Advisor Perspectives




American Beacon Advisors

The American College of Financial Services

American Funds part of Capital Group

AMG Funds

Amplify ETFs

AQR Capital Management

Ariel Investments

Artisan Partners

Baillie Gifford International LLC

Baird Funds



Boston Partners

BNY Mellon

Bridgeway Funds

Broadview Advisors

Brown Brothers Harriman

Buffalo Funds

Calamos Investments

Calvert Research and Management

Cambiar Investors

Carillon Tower Advisers

Causeway Capital Management, LLC

Centerstone Investors

Charles Schwab Investment Management

Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Conestoga Funds

Cramer Rosenthal McGlynn, LLC

Davis Advisors

Diamond Hill Capital Management

Dodge & Cox

Domini Impact Investments


Edgewood Management, LLC

eMoney Advisors, LLC

Envestnet Tamarac

ETC Marketing Services

ETF Trends

Eventide Asset Management


Fidelity Investments

Financial Advisor IQ

Financial Advisor Magazine

Financial Planning

First Eagle Investment Management

First Trust Advisors L.P.

Fix Flyer

ForwardLane, Inc.

FPA Funds

Frankilin Templeton Investments

Frost Investment Advisors, LLC

FTSE Russell

Gabelli Funds

Gitterman Wealth Management

Glenmede Investment Management

Gregory FCA

Griffin Capital Securities, LLC

Guidestone Funds

Guggenheim Investments

Harbor Funds

Hartford Funds

Havener Capital Partners

Hotchkis & Wiley

HSBC Global Asset Management

Impact Communications


Investment News

Investments & Wealth Institute

IVA Funds

Ivy Investments

Janus Henderson Investors

Jensen Investment Management


John Hancock Investments

J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Legg Mason Global Asset Management

Litman Gregory Asset Management

Loomis, Sayles & Company

Mairs & Power

Marketfield Asset Management, LLC

Matthews Asia

MFS Investment Management

Moerus Capital Management LLC

MoneyGuidePro, Created by PIEtech

Money Management Institute

Morgan Stanley Investment Management




Neuberger Berman

New York Life Investments

Nushares from Nuveen

Oakmark Funds

OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

Orion Advisor Services

Pacific Funds

Parnassus Investments

Pax World Funds

PGIM Investments


Polaris Capital Management, LLC

Principal Global Investors

Private Client Resources


Queens Road Funds


RIA Channel

Redtail Technology



RiverPark Funds

ROBO Global

Royce & Associates

S&P Dow Jones Indices

Saturna Capital

Seafarer Capital Partners


Sit Mutual Funds

Smead Capital Management

Sound Shore Management, Inc.

State Street Global Advisors


STRATA Trust Company



TD Amertirade Institutional

Think Advisor

Third Avenue Management

Thompson IM Funds, Inc.


Touchstone Investments

T. Rowe Price

Tweedy, Browne Company LLC


USAA Investments




Victory Capital Management

Weitz Investment Management

Wasatch Funds

Westchester Capital Management, LLC

Westcore Funds

Wildermuth Securities, LLC

William Blair

Register for a Booth

Sponsorship Opportunities


Be a visible part of the MIC experience by becoming a sponsor. It’s about more than attendees seeing your company’s logo—it’s an effective way to reach decision makers. View the sponsorship kit.

Become a Sponsor

Principal Sponsor

Lead Sponsors

Major Sponsors

Associate Sponsors


Coffee Lounge Sponsor


Social Digital Hub Sponsor


See you at the conference.