Transactions

April 2014
Woburn, MA
has been acquired by
Chicago, IL


Background

ByAllAccounts, Inc., located in Woburn, MA was North America’s premier data aggregation platform for the wealth management industry. The Company used a knowledge-based process, including patented artificial intelligence technology, to collect, consolidate, and enrich financial account data and deliver it to virtually any platform. The company had built a network of more than 2,100 clients, 4,300 custodians, and 40 platform and service providers. Clients included independent financial advisors, asset managers, wealth managers/family offices, trust companies, and broker-dealers. More than $730 billion in assets moved daily through the ByAllAccounts aggregation engine.

Together, the venture capital firms Castile Ventures and Commonwealth Capital Ventures controlled the Company. The 3 co-founders were operating it. The founders of ByAllAccounts approached M&A to explore strategic alternatives. In September 2013, ByAllAccounts’ Board of Directors asked M&A to sell the Company.



M&A organized a dedicated team to work closely with Management to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Company and to develop materials that would seamlessly communicate ByAllAccounts’ story, growth potential, strategy, execution plan and financial projections. Working with ByAllAccounts’ Management, M&A identified and approached financial sponsors and strategic parties that we believed could be interested in partnering with the Company. There was significant interest in the company from a wide range of potential partners.  M&A leveraged its deep domain expertise, significant knowledge of the global Financial Technology universe to manage a process that involved parties from North America and Europe. M&A helped Management frame the Company’s unique value proposition and growth potential and then spent the time with these parties to ensure that they fully understood the story.  When the process narrowed the field down to a few parties, M&A advised ByAllAccounts’ shareholders on negotiation strategies to ensure common agreement on objectives.
 

After a review of its options, careful consideration, and negotiation, ByAllAccounts agreed to be acquired by Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.  The strategic fit with Morningstar was solid.  Both sides came to believe that this acquisition would enhance many of Morningstar’s key solutions across their core customer groups, particularly bolstering its offerings that support an advisor’s workflow.  Further, both companies believed that customers would benefit from Morningstar’s global reach and broader product line.  The combination would also accelerate ByAllAccounts’ organic growth plan by broadening its distribution.

M&A worked diligently on the deal to craft materials, initiate conversations, negotiate alternative offers with multiple parties and final legal documents swiftly. Marlin & Associates acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to the shareholders and managers of ByAllAccounts.

Morningstar, Inc. Acquires ByAllAccounts, Inc., Provider of Innovative Data Aggregation Technology for Financial Applications

April 01, 2014

CHICAGO, April 1, 2014—Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today acquired ByAllAccounts, Inc., a provider of innovative data aggregation technology for financial applications.

ByAllAccounts uses a knowledge-based process, including patented artificial intelligence technology, to collect, consolidate, and enrich financial account data and deliver it to virtually any platform. The company has built a network of more than 2,100 clients, 4,300 custodians, and 40 platform and service providers. Clients include independent financial advisors, asset managers, wealth managers/family offices, trust companies, and broker-dealers. Currently, more than $730 billion in assets move daily through the ByAllAccounts aggregation engine.

Joe Mansueto, chairman and chief executive officer of Morningstar, said, "The ability to efficiently provide a holistic view of an investor’s total financial portfolio is now a requirement for wealth managers—not a ‘nice to have’ capability. ByAllAccounts is a trusted name with a reputation for high-quality and sophisticated aggregation technology that eliminates manual data entry and mitigates human error. We expect this acquisition to enhance many of Morningstar’s key solutions across our core customer groups, particularly bolstering our offerings that support an advisor’s workflow. We plan to integrate the service into our offerings as well as expand and develop ByAllAccounts’ third-party distribution relationships.”

ByAllAccounts has about 60 employees based primarily in Massachusetts. James Carney, president and CEO, will continue to lead the business.

“Morningstar has extensive reach within the wealth management community,” Carney said. “Becoming part of Morningstar will broaden our distribution and give us access to its breadth of capabilities, including its vast investment data expertise. As investment vehicles become increasingly global in nature, Morningstar’s international operations will also allow us to respond to the growing need for data aggregation outside the United States.”

Morningstar acquired ByAllAccounts for $28 million, subject to working capital adjustments.

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 retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on approximately 446,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 10 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and had approximately $159 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.

About ByAllAccounts, Inc.
ByAllAccounts provides innovative data aggregation technology for financial applications. The company develops the essential data aggregation technology that serves as the foundation for the financial industry’s wealth management applications, including portfolio management, reporting, compliance, trust accounting, and client relationship management (CRM). Its open architecture solution uses artificial intelligence to gather and transform financial account data and deliver it to any financial platform. The firm’s network of clients, custodial relationships, and platform and service providers rely on ByAllAccounts as their primary connector to structured and unstructured financial account data.For more information, visit www.byallaccounts.com.

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