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Press release from PR Newswire

Morningstar Launches Indexes Based on "Ultimate Stock-Pickers" Research

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Morningstar Launches Indexes Based on "Ultimate Stock-Pickers" Research10:26 EDT Wednesday, March 28, 2012BNP Paribas Licenses Indexes for Structured Bank NotesCHICAGO, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has launched three Morningstar® Ultimate Stock-Pickers Indexes, including the Ultimate Stock-Pickers, Ultimate Stock-Pickers Target Volatility 7, and Ultimate Stock-Pickers Target Volatility 10. BNP Paribas, a global leader in banking and investment solutions, has licensed these indexes to serve as benchmarks for three new structured bank notes expected to launch April 2.In April 2009, Morningstar equity analysts began to research the quarterly holdings, purchases, and sales of 26 top investment managers, or what Morningstar calls the "Ultimate Stock-Pickers." The Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Index takes this concept to the next level by combining the picks of these top managers with Morningstar's independent equity research. The Morningstar Index team first compiles a list of fund holdings from the managers selected by Morningstar's research team and then pares the list down by excluding securities that Morningstar equity analysts believe are overvalued or inherently difficult to predict. Next, the index team examines how many of the well-regarded managers hold the security, how much of it they hold, and whether or not managers have been adding to the position to determine a fund manager conviction score. Securities with the highest manager conviction scores comprise the Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Index."Morningstar has a long history and reputation for identifying traits of great money managers. We also have one of the largest independent equity research teams in the world. The Ultimate Stock-Pickers Index allows us to combine our independent equity research with the best ideas from leading fund managers," said Sanjay Arya, senior vice president of Morningstar Indexes.The Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Target Volatility 7 and 10 Indexes are similar in construction to the Ultimate Stock-Pickers Index, but seek to control volatility by moving assets in and out of cash positions to maintain standard deviations of seven and 10, respectively. Morningstar reconstitutes the indexes monthly.Introduced in 2002, the Morningstar Indexes include a broad range of global equity, fixed income, and commodity indexes that are also combined to form an asset allocation index series. Currently, 32 ETFs and one ETN track Morningstar Indexes. For more information about all of Morningstar's indexes, visit http://indexes.morningstar.com. 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 individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 375,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 8 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 has more than $180 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2011. The company has operations in 27 countries.The BNP Paribas structured bank notes will not be sponsored, endorsed, issued, sold or promoted by Morningstar, and Morningstar makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in them.©2012 Morningstar, Inc.  All rights reserved.MORN-CMedia Contacts:Alexa Auerbach, 312-696-6481 or alexa.auerbach@morningstar.comSOURCE Morningstar, Inc.