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Paula Wheelerpaula.wheeler@morningstar.com
Morningstar Launches Morningstar Direct(SM), Next-Generation Investment Research Platform for Institutions

CHICAGO, March 2, 2005 – Morningstar, Inc., today introduced Morningstar DirectSM, a Web-based global research platform that connects institutional investment professionals throughout the world with Morningstar’s database and research.

Morningstar Direct, which is being rolled out through Morningstar’s global markets this week, offers institutional clients direct access to timely investment statistics across multiple data universes and is designed for sophisticated institutional investment research.

In the United States, Morningstar Direct replaces the product called Morningstar DataLab, which contained investment data on U.S. open-end mutual funds, separate accounts, and variable annuity investments. The new platform features these investments plus broadly expanded data covering several additional investment types.

Morningstar Direct has added data on approximately 25,000 European mutual funds, including 10,000 offshore funds, enabling institutions to seamlessly conduct research across global markets.

Morningstar Direct is also the first Morningstar product to incorporate data on hedge funds and hedge funds of funds. During the last year, Morningstar has been developing its hedge fund database, which continues to expand.

Data on exchange-traded funds and closed-end funds are also new to Morningstar Direct’s database.

“Morningstar Direct provides institutions with instant and unparalleled access to Morningstar’s investment data,” said Joe Mansueto, chairman and chief executive officer of Morningstar. “Adding these new investment types significantly enhances the research capabilities of our users. Particularly as institutions expand internationally, they can use our platform to conduct research and make investment comparisons across continents.”
Beyond new data universes, Morningstar Direct offers enhanced functionality and user-friendliness – modifications driven largely by client feedback. These new capabilities enable clients to perform deeper, more targeted research, and create more meaningful reports.

For example, Morningstar Direct now enables users to perform full returns-based investment style analysis and make comparisons with holdings-based style analysis. In addition, new options for customizing data give users the ability to define time frames and benchmarks, and establish rolling time periods. This enables users to more precisely pinpoint their research and analysis, and better understand investment performance over time. In addition, Morningstar Direct provides users with enhanced reporting capabilities, including increased compatibility with PowerPoint and Adobe PDF, new graphs and pre-defined reports, and more ways to customize reports.

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in the United States and in major international markets. The company offers an extensive line of Internet, software, and print-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions.

Morningstar Direct, the company’s Web-based global research platform for institutions, contains investment data on U.S. open-end mutual funds, separate accounts, variable annuity investments, hedge funds and hedge funds of funds, exchange-traded funds and closed-end funds, as well as European mutual funds and offshore funds.

Morningstar tracks more than 100,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles. The company has operations in 16 countries.

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