CHICAGO, May 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN) today announced that Morningstar Credit Ratings (MCR) has entered into a settlement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve an investigation into whether certain activities of MCR's asset-backed securities staff in 2015 to 2016 complied with sales and marketing rules applicable to Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations.
MCR, which will pay $3.5 million as part of the settlement, did not admit or deny the SEC's charges. MCR cooperated with the SEC's multi-year investigation and believes the settlement is in the best interest of the company. There are no allegations that any credit ratings issued by MCR were affected by the conduct described in the settlement.
MCR takes its regulatory obligations seriously, and the integrity of its credit ratings is of paramount importance. As part of its integration with DBRS, which Morningstar acquired last year and well after the investigated activity took place, the combined DBRS Morningstar has enhanced and will further strengthen policies, procedures, and internal controls. It will also conduct additional training to reinforce compliance with regulations.
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, 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 $179 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2020. The Company has operations in 27 countries. For more information, visit www.morningstar.com/company. Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc.