Morningstar paid its former Australian chief, Graham Rich, a total of AU$4.0 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from Rich's termination. Rich was the founder of FPG Research Pty Limited, which was bought by Morningstar in 1999.
Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced it has settled its legal dispute with Graham Rich, the founder and former managing director of Morningstar’s Australian subsidiary, Morningstar Research Pty Limited, and certain entities controlled by him. Under terms of the settlement, Morningstar paid a total of AU$4.0 million (approximately U.S. $3.2 million) and the parties agreed to dismiss and release all claims.
In 1999, Morningstar invested in FPG Research Pty Limited, a company founded and run by Rich and now known as Morningstar Australia. Over time, disputes arose between Rich and Morningstar over a number of matters. The disputes were not resolved, and in 2001 Morningstar terminated Rich’s employment and he commenced the lawsuit.
Joe Mansueto, chairman and chief executive officer of Morningstar, said, “We’re pleased to bring this matter to a conclusion. The settlement allows us to eliminate ongoing expense and business distraction.”
Morningstar previously recorded reserves of approximately AU$2.5 million (approximately U.S. $2.1 million) in connection with this litigation. Additional details about the dispute can be found in Morningstar’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Morningstar’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007.
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 provides data on more than 250,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles. The company has operations in 16 countries and minority ownership positions in companies based in three other countries.
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