CHICAGO, September 8, 2021—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, leading-edge 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 CEO, 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,” Sproehnle said. “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,” added 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.