SAM News

SAM to Include Morningstar Indexes in its Base Offering

Posted by Gerard Michael on October 6, 2021


Smartleaf Asset Management LLC (SAM) to include core Morningstar Indexes and Asset Allocation Models in its base offering, with option to upgrade to advanced Morningstar indexes.



Smartleaf Asset Management LLC (SAM) announced today that it will provide advisors with easy access to customized, tax-managed direct index portfolios based on Morningstar Indexes. Under this new alliance, Morningstar asset allocations and core beta indexes will be included in SAM’s base offering. And for an additional fee, SAM clients will be able to access to direct index portfolios based on the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Indexes, which target a select group of “wide moat” companies that, according to Morningstar’s equity research team and its Economic Moat rating, have a unique and sustainable long-term competitive advantage.


Acting as a sub-advisor, SAM makes portfolio management frictionless, enabling advisors to easily deliver custom, tax-optimized portfolios to all their clients. For SAM clients, direct index portfolios based on Morningstar Indexes will be as easy to work with as ETF portfolios. Customization options enabled by SAM include ESG and faith-based screens, security constraints, custom asset allocations, custom product choice, and custom cash management.


“We continue to see rapid growth in the direct index marketplace as firms like Smartleaf Asset Management introduce new services to help wealth advisors serve growing investor demand for more personalized portfolios based on their unique preferences and tax needs,” said Ron Bundy, President and Head of Indexes at Morningstar, Inc. "We’re pleased to be working with firms like SAM to provide our unique, differentiated indexes as the basis for their offering to the wealth management marketplace," he added.


Jerry Michael, Smartleaf Asset Management’s President, commented, “We are raising the bar of what is possible. We enable advisors to provide every account with world-class customization and tax management, building on the solid foundation of Morningstar Indexes, powered by Morningstar’s trusted brand and global research capabilities. This frees advisors to focus on what they do best — acting as their clients’ trusted advisor.”


The initial products available through SAM sub-advisory service, at no additional cost, include:

  • Morningstar® Target Allocation Index Family℠
  • Morningstar® US Large Cap Index℠
  • Morningstar® US Mid Cap Index℠
  • Morningstar® US Small Cap Index℠


For additional fees, advisors will also have access to indexes with unique methodologies informed by Morningstar research:

  • Morningstar® US Dividend Valuation Index℠
  • Morningstar® US Sustainability Dividend Yield Focus Index℠
  • Morningstar® Wide Moat Focus Index℠
  • Morningstar® US Sustainability Moat Focus Index℠


Additional indexes will be made available in the near future.


ABOUT Morningstar, Inc.

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers and owners, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data, in addition to offering a family of global multi-asset market indexes. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $244 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2021. The Company has operations in 29 countries.


For more information, visit


Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc.

Morningstar Indexes are created and maintained by Morningstar, Inc. and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by Smartleaf Asset Management. Morningstar® is a registered trademark and the Morningstar Indexes are services marks of Morningstar, Inc.


Morningstar Economic Moat Ratings are determined through independent research conducted by the Morningstar Equity Research team. Investment research is produced and issued by subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC, registered with and governed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Morningstar Economic Moat Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Moat Ratings are based on Morningstar analysts’ current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause Morningstar’s expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Morningstar does not represent the Morningstar Economic Moat Rating to be a guarantee, nor should it be viewed as an assessment of a security’s creditworthiness.


Morningstar, Inc. does not sponsor, endorse, issue, sell, or promote SmartLeaf Asset Management’s direct index portfolios and bears no liability with respect to the portfolios or any security.


Smartleaf Asset Management, LLC (SAM), an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor, is a subsidiary of Smartleaf, Inc., whose automated rebalancing workflow platform helps its clients deliver customized tax-efficient portfolios at scale. SAM leverages Smartleaf’s software to automate the management of unified managed accounts. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

For more information on SAM, visit


To view the original press release, click here

Gerard Michael
Gerard Michael

President, Co-Founder