Morningstar Ibbotson Conference to be Held March 4-5 in Orlando

Jan 19, 2010, 10:56 ET from Morningstar, Inc.

CHICAGO, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced that the Morningstar Ibbotson Conference will be held March 4-5 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes resort in Orlando, Fla. The conference, which is Morningstar's premier event for institutions, will feature prominent speakers from academic institutions and the financial services industry discussing new research and techniques in asset allocation, investment research, and portfolio construction.

This year, Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, will give the keynote address. Wheelan, a noted author, professor, and columnist, will discuss the economic challenges the Obama administration faces and how government action will likely impact the economy and the financial services industry.

General session speakers at this year's conference include:

  • Cliff Asness, managing and founding principal of AQR Capital Management, who will address the role of hedge funds in asset allocation after the credit crisis;
  • Paul Ballew, senior vice president customer insights and analytics for Nationwide, who will discuss the shifting consumer attitudes toward consumption and saving in the wake of the financial crisis;
  • James Delaplane, partner with Davis & Harman, who will provide an overview of pending legislation and regulatory changes and how they may impact the financial services industry.
  • Roger Ibbotson, founder of Ibbotson Associates, professor of finance at Yale School of Management, and partner at Zebra Capital Management, who will discuss why asset allocation and diversification worked in 2008 and why they continue to work today;
  • Laurence Siegel, research director for the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute, who will present interpretations of the 2008 crash from a number of leading financial experts, including Peter Bernstein and Jeremy Grantham;
  • Lawrence Speidell, partner and chief investment officer of Frontier Market Association, who will share his insights into frontier markets as an asset class.

Additional academic and industry experts as well as thought leaders from across Morningstar and Ibbotson will present breakout sessions covering topics such as Ibbotson's economic outlook, a global history of stock market crashes, advances in optimization and forecasting with non-normal returns, the link between redemption fees and alpha, forecasting fund manager alphas, and hedging risk in guaranteed products, to name a few.

"On the heels of the worst market downturn since the Great Depression, individual investors, advisors, and institutions are looking for better ways to fortify their portfolios against dramatic market losses," said Peng Chen, president of Ibbotson Associates. "We are excited to bring together thought leaders from academia and the investment management industry to share their outlook for the market and the economy, new techniques in optimization and forecasting, and the role of alternative investments. We hope to provide a better understanding of the financial crisis and impart real-world solutions that attendees can implement in their products and with their clients to help mitigate risk and help investors reach their financial goals."

In addition, Morningstar will host an institutional software client symposium for Morningstar Direct and Morningstar® EnCorr® users on March 3. Clients will receive hands-on training from product experts, trade tips with peers, and explore Morningstar methodologies.

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit or call 877-525-3257. Attendance is $1,095 per person, and early registration is available for $950 through Feb. 5, 2010. Attendees can earn continuing education credits from the CFP® Board (CFP license) and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Full-time members of the news media may attend the conference at no cost, but must register in advance by contacting Alexa Auerbach at 312-696-6481.

About Ibbotson Associates and Morningstar, Inc.

Ibbotson Associates is a leading independent provider of asset allocation, manager selection, and portfolio construction services. The company leverages its innovative and ground-breaking academic research to create customized investment advisory solutions that help investors meet their goals. Founded by Professor Roger Ibbotson in 1977, Ibbotson Associates is a registered investment advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of 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 Internet, software, and print-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on more than 325,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. The company has operations in 20 countries and minority ownership positions in companies based in two other countries.

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