Morningstar Acquires Moorgate Benchmarks to Fuel Indexing Growth and Disruption

CHICAGO, Sept. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the acquisition of Moorgate Benchmarks, a privately held European-based global provider of index design, calculation, and administration. ETFS Capital provided seed funding to Moorgate Benchmarks in 2019 and had been its sole external investor. With this transaction, Moorgate Benchmarks becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pairing Moorgate Benchmarks’ advanced index design, calculation and administration technology and processes with Morningstar’s data, research, and unique Morningstar-led index intellectual property will give investors more customized and personalized indexes, delivered faster. Moorgate’s respected executive team, talented employee base, advanced technology, and intellectual property are now part of the Morningstar Indexes team

“The index industry today needs disruption, with a number of entrenched players who aren’t providing enough value and innovation to investors for the fees they charge. Moorgate Benchmarks’ advanced technology, index calculation process, and strong reputation in Europe will help us address this issue head on,” said Ron Bundy, president of Morningstar Indexes. “The capabilities that Moorgate Benchmarks brings will help accelerate our goal of becoming a leading global index provider by providing more value to the end investor.”

Moorgate Benchmarks’ 20 employees, based in the UK and Germany, will immediately become part of Morningstar Indexes. In addition to his role as Moorgate Benchmarks chief executive officer, Tobias Sproehnle will become head of Morningstar Indexes in Europe, reporting to Ron Bundy. The additional members of the Moorgate Benchmarks executive team – Gareth Parker and Mark Pralle, will join the Morningstar Indexes leadership team and report to Sproehnle. 

“It’s exciting to be joining forces with Morningstar, a firm which brings incredible access to data, enormous global market insights, and a strong reputation for doing right by investors,” said Sproehnle. “We have already built a strong rapport and respect for the Morningstar Indexes team in our work together over the past year, and I am personally excited to play a larger role in fueling innovation in the industry to benefit our clients and the broader investment community.”

The addition of Moorgate Benchmarks expands Morningstar Indexes’ ability to service European clients. Moorgate has a strong European presence, and its founders are recognized leaders in the European indexing community. “Moorgate Benchmarks and Morningstar Indexes also share a common mission and culture, which was an important factor in the acquisition,” said Bundy. “We are both ‘challenger brands’ in the highly competitive global index industry and are focused on doing things differently to deliver more value to the end investor.” 

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. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $251 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2021. The Company has operations in 29 countries. For more information, visit www.morningstar.com/company. Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc. 

About Moorgate Benchmarks 
Moorgate Benchmarks’ mission is to enable index providers and product issuers to create new products that deliver true choice to all investors. Experts in designing, managing and calculating indices for clients; streamlining operations using leading-edge technology; and implementing best practice governance systems to meet EU Benchmarks Regulation, the firm is challenging an industry ripe for disruption. 

Moorgate Benchmarks was founded in 2018 by Gareth Parker and Tobias Sproehnle. Mark Pralle, director and the company’s CTO, joined in 2019. The company is independent and employee-owned. For more information, visit www.moorgatebenchmarks.com

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on our current expectations about future events or future financial performance. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, and often contain words such as “may,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or “continue.” These statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the events we discuss not to occur or to differ significantly from what we expect.  

For us, these risks and uncertainties include, among others, failing to maintain and protect our brand, independence, and reputation; liability for any losses that result from an actual or claimed breach of our fiduciary duties or failure to comply with applicable securities laws; liability related to cybersecurity and the protection of confidential information, including personal information about individuals; compliance failures, regulatory action, or changes in laws applicable to our credit ratings operations, or our investment advisory, ESG, and index products; prolonged volatility or downturns affecting the financial sector, global financial markets, and global economy and its effect on our revenue from asset-based fees and credit ratings business; the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and government actions in response thereto on our business, financial condition, and results of operations; inadequacy of our operational risk management and business continuity programs in the event of a material disruptive event; failing to respond to technological change, keep pace with new technology developments, or adopt a successful technology strategy; failing to differentiate our products and services and continuously create innovative, proprietary and insightful financial technology solutions; liability relating to the information and data we collect, store, use, create, and distribute or the reports that we publish or are produced by our software products; trends in the financial services industry, including fee compression within the asset and wealth management sectors and increased industry consolidation; an outage of our database, technology-based products and services, or network facilities or the movement of parts of our technology and data infrastructure to the public cloud and other outsourced providers; the failure of acquisitions and other investments to be efficiently integrated and produce the results we anticipate; the failure to recruit, develop, and retain qualified employees; challenges faced by our non-U.S. operations, including the concentration of data and development work at our offshore facilities in China and India; our indebtedness could adversely affect our cash flows and financial flexibility; and the failure to protect our intellectual property rights or claims of intellectual property infringement against us.  

A more complete description of these risks and uncertainties can be found in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. If any of these risks and uncertainties materialize, our actual future results and other future events may vary significantly from what we expect. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.  

©2021 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

MORN-C 

Media Contact:
Morningstar: Tim Benedict, +1-203-339-1912 or tim.benedict@morningstar.com 

SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.

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Published on September 8, 2021

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