February 7, 2018

Morningstar Announces the Expansion of its Index Marketplace in Software Products, Enabling Benchmark Comparisons for Investors

Signs FTSE Russell as first strategic provider to integrate index performance and constituent data to Morningstar on over 70 global equity index series

CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced that it will be expanding its index marketplace in software products by integrating third-party index data, giving investors the ability to make direct benchmark comparisons based on their needs. Morningstar has signed FTSE Russell, the global index and data provider, as its first strategic collaborator to provide index performance and constituent data to Morningstar on over 70 global equity index series, in order to align with its global Category benchmarking methodology. The announcement marks Morningstar's growing commitment to investors to provide more benchmark comparison options, and greater transparency.

Morningstar will work with FTSE Russell to map approximately 10,000 global equity indexes to Morningstar's global Category framework. Additionally, Morningstar will assign a single FTSE Russell index to each category as the Category Benchmark replacement option, providing users the ability to compare all investment choices in the category to indexes supplied from a single index vendor. This new mapping will initially be available to Morningstar clients via Morningstar DirectSM, and will allow users to also request access to FTSE Russell index constituents for an additional license fee via the Content Catalog. Users of Morningstar Direct will be able to compare different indexes within a Category and select the one that best fits their needs. By using both the Category assignment and several descriptive data points assigned to each index, navigating the increasingly complex universe of available indexes in one central location will greatly benefit users searching for appropriate benchmarks. Users will also be able to gain economies of scale by licensing more indexes from a fewer number of providers if that is their preference.

"Increasing transparency for investors is core to Morningstar's mission. The addition of an index marketplace through third-party providers to our robust data and independent research capabilities further cements our commitment to helping investors navigate the increasingly complex world of passive investing," said Scott Burns, head of research and data products at Morningstar. "FTSE Russell's partnership with Morningstar's index marketplace demonstrates that our Open Indexes Project is gaining traction, not just with asset managers and investors, but with other world leading index providers as well."

Morningstar has always been committed to providing investors with more options in the indexes market. In November 2016, Morningstar launched a different initiative, Morningstar Open Indexes Project, in an effort to lower the direct cost of equity index benchmarks for the industry and improve outcomes for investors. As part of the Open Indexes Project, Morningstar offered asset managers and other firms the ability to benchmark their investments against more than 100 Morningstar global equity indexes for free. The initiative has since expanded to include two new indexes, the Morningstar Eurozone 50 and Morningstar Developed Europe 100.

"We're pleased to have FTSE Russell join us on our mission to offer greater transparency to investors," said Paul Justice, director of data methodology at Morningstar. "Finding appropriate benchmarks is a difficult task and comparing the nuances of the thousands of offerings can be overwhelming. By bringing this information into the index marketplace, investors can now easily compare indexes against each other, or they can evaluate multiple indexes against an array of investable products. In addition to being the premier source for managed investment data, we are excited to evolve into a complete index information repository."

"We're excited to work with Morningstar to further our joint mission of helping investors in a lower-cost investing environment, providing robust and transparent index solutions to facilitate better informed investment decision making," said Mark Makepeace, chief executive officer of FTSE Russell. "Close collaboration with Morningstar over the past ten years has helped us broaden the distribution of our index performance and data in the U.S. market."

Please click here for more information about the 70 global equity index series which will include FTSE Russell's index performance and constituent data.

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, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the 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, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $220 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2017. The company has operations in 27 countries.

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