Morningstar Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced it has acquired the Footnoted business of Financial Fineprint Inc., a privately held firm based in Peekskill, N.Y. The acquisition includes the Footnoted.org website and the Footnoted Pro service. Terms were not disclosed, according to a press release.
Footnoted.org was founded in 2003 by Michelle Leder, author and journalist. Footnoted's research staff pores over hundreds of SEC filings a day to unearth critical information buried in the fine print, such as evidence of aggressive accounting, excessive compensation, or the type of questionable self-dealing that can indicate more serious problems at a company. With original insight and analysis culled from corporate filings, Footnoted's free site has become a must-read for professional money managers and analysts, as well as individual investors and journalists. The company also publishes Footnoted Pro, a service for institutional investors, such as hedge fund firms, that provides insight on actionable items and trends in filings.
Leder will continue to run Footnoted, and Morningstar will make some content from the site available on Morningstar.com, the company's investment website. In the near future, footnoted.org will become footnoted.com. Additionally, Morningstar will also offer Footnoted Pro to its individual investor, advisor, and institutional clients.
"Morningstar is always looking for ways to provide investors with information to make investing as transparent as possible. There are few better examples of that principle in action than the work Footnoted does to demystify the often-complex details hidden deep in companies' federal filings," said Kunal Kapoor, president of individual investor software at Morningstar. "Its content is a natural fit with our investor-centric offerings at Morningstar.com and is a perfect companion to our tools, reports, and research."
"Footnoted and Morningstar share a common goal to shed light on investing, but many investors remain in the dark," Leder said. "For the past six years, Footnoted's small staff has uncovered lots of examples of self-serving actions at publicly traded companies. As part of Morningstar, we'll be able to provide Footnoted.org's loyal readers with additional resources from a trusted source for independent research, and we'll expose thousands of Morningstar clients to our unique content—and what's truly lurking in public filings."