I didn’t see this one coming. Morningstar has announced
that it is shutting down Morningstar Document Service on August 31st. In what
seems to me, an unprecedented move, Morningstar is encouraging their customers
to migrate to the Intelligize  securities
research product.  Did Morningstar  lose interest in the legal market? Had SEC
document research become too commoditized? Was Morningstar unwilling to invest in new  technology in order to meet the legal market’s
demand for content integrated with process improvement. Did Intelligize
purchase the “MDR “good will?”

The Players

Morning Document Research was previously known as 10K Wizard. 10K
Wizard was founded in 1999  and for several years it was   revered
as one of the best, if not the best SEC document research platform. It also
offered the added benefit of being reasonably priced.

Intelligize was a relative
latecomer to the Securities research market, but it wasn’t developed for simple
SEC document retrieval. It was an innovative start-up developed by 
a former Amlaw 100 lawyer who was trying to take some of the grinding
pain out of some standard securities research activities, Intelligize looked  beyond 10ks
to regulatory materials such as comment letters and no-action letters and developed innovative technology capable
for searching and displaying  related SEC
administrative letters and comments in a logical thread.

The Evolving SEC Research Market
For a time the legal research market was exploding with products
for Securities filings research. Lawyers and librarians were giddy with delight that
10ks which had been  previously
accessible only if you made a visit to the SEC reading room were suddenly  keyword searchable and  available on cd-rom. With the launch of the
SEC’s EDGAR website, commercial services entered the market offering more
sophisticated capabilities than the EDGAR website. While SEC documents continue
to be available for free on the SEC website, the EDGAR website lacks the
sophisticated functionality demanded by 21st century lawyers.  The market
has reached a maturity where the retrieval of a 10K is  viewed as a commodity. The public may be happy
to pull a 10K but lawyers demand products which integrate the data with  workflow or provide an analytics engine which
can tease out trends or comparative results. The 21st century legal market
places the highest value on content which is tied to workflow or analytics. 

Morningstar purchased 10K Wizard in 2008 for 12.5 million. Why sell it now?

Legal information professionals have seen this movie before. Great
products sometimes fail to thrive when grafted on to a new corporate culture.
I always thought Morningstar was an odd match for 10K Wizard – too much of a consumer brand to compete in the high stakes legal market. Thomson Reuters purchased another SEC research icon “Global Securities
Information.” That  deal is viewed as a notorious failure by most information professionals. Although, GSI survives (
after multiple name changes and pricing plans) it is currently known as the  Business  Law Center on Westlaw Next. Thomson Reuters is positioning the product as a core asset within an
integrated corporate worlkflow suite which includes, Drafting
Assistant Transactional and West KM. See: Thomson Reuters Relaunches WestlawBusiness (Again)

LexisNexis purchased Securities Mosaic another strong SEC research
product in 2013.  Securities Mosaic
remains a stand alone product but is also being aligned with  practice workflow products  LexisNexis
Practice Advisor and  LexisNexis Practice Pages.  Lexis Practice Advisor Bulks up with M&Acontent.

Only BloombergBNA has developed their own SEC research solution
in their BLaw product which is also integrated with workflow solutions. See:Bloomberg BNA Levels theCorporate Deal Landscape with Launch of Corporate Drafting Platform Leveraging  analytics and Enhancing Workflow

I examined the development of Intelligize in an earlier post:
 The last independent standing: Meet Intelligize  Intelligize was developed by a former Big Law associate Gurinda Sangha
who wanted to relieve some of the plodding pain of traditional securities law
research. The traditional approach to research starts with a broad search of
all documents which is then narrowed with a series of sub-searches.  Sangha decided to turn the process on its
head. He developed a search engine with the ability to search by deconstructing
documents. Start with the best document and then expand your search by finding
more documents or clauses like the original document or clause..” Intelligize
also revolutionized SEC No-Action and Comment Letter research by moving past
the traditional key word search and offering the “pairing” of  lawyer
inquires and  SEC responses into a chronological thread.

 It is hard to believe that Morningstar is simply walking away from a $12.5 million investment and putting up a sign pointing users to Intelligize without some financial incentive. Todd Hicks, CEO of Intelligize confirmed that there is an undisclosed financial component covered by an NDA.

 Will Intelligize Take on
Corporate Workflow?

I asked Todd Hicks, CEO of
Intelligize if they planned to align their products with drafting tools. Hicks
responded that  “the core focus at Intelligize has always been on providing
attorney workflow solutions.”  More specifically
he indicated that  they are currently
working on an application squarely focused on the document drafting process.  “ Intelligize is finalizing development
of what we believe to be the most comprehensive set of precedent in the market
today. This application will combine the power of search with multiple sources
of precedent to deliver more relevant results across the entire drafting
workflow. This will better serve partners, associates and legal research
Apparently this communication was
sent to Morningstar subscribers:

writing to let you know that Morningstar will be retiring Morningstar Document
Research’s web-based service (MDR) on Aug. 31, 2016. The MDR website
(documentresearch.morningstar.com) will remain active until that date. Your
subscription will expire at the end of its current term.

want to give you ample notice and help minimize any disruption to your
business. We are working with Intelligize, an industry leader in the area of
SEC compliance and legal research, to offer you special terms if you’d like to
transition to the Intelligize platform once your Morningstar subscription
expires. An Intelligize service representative will contact you before the
expiration of your Morningstar subscription to discuss the Intelligize
Here is
the Intelligize Press Release:

Intelligize has been endorsed by Morningstar as the best solution
in the market for SEC research and compliance.

New York, New York, June 29, 2015
– Intelligize announced today that they have entered into a referral
arrangement with Morningstar as it plans to cease offering the Morningstar
Document Research tool. After an evaluation of different offerings in the
market, Morningstar came to the conclusion that Intelligize is the best
solution in the market to replace MDR and will meet the needs of their
customers for SEC research and compliance.

“We are excited to welcome Morningstar Document Research clients
to the Intelligize platform”, says Todd Hicks, CEO of Intelligize, “We strive
to provide our customers with the fastest performance available combined with a
superior user interface experience and unique analytical tools that go beyond
simple document retrieval”.

Intelligize will continue to work with Morningstar to provide the
best transition experience possible as customers look to migrate to a new
platform. A Communication is being sent out by Morningstar to all of their
users informing them of the Intelligize relationship and endorsing them as the
best replacement service available in the market.

About Intelligize, Inc.

Intelligize is a leading provider of a web-based services platform
that enables law firms, accounting firms, corporations and others to more
efficiently research, prepare and draft SEC filings, corporate transactions and
various agreements within a fast-changing regulatory environment. Through
powerful search, filter, compare, analyze and alert capabilities, its suite of
applications is designed to help customers cut down on the amount of time and
effort it takes to meet reporting requirements and move through the SEC review

Intelligize serves Fortune 500 companies, such as Starbucks, IBM,
Microsoft, Verizon and Wal-Mart, as well as some of the top global accounting
and law firms. For more information, visit www.intelligize.com.