The owners of the Standard & Poor’s Indices and the Dow Jones Indices said they will create a joint venture in index services.

McGraw-Hill Companies, the owner of the S&P Indices, and CME Group, which owns 90 percent of the existing CME Group/Dow Jones index venture, said they will combine their indices into a new index business.

The new business, to be called S&P/Dow Jones Indices, will include both the S&P Indices business of McGraw-Hill and the Dow Jones Indexes business of CME Group and Dow Jones, a unit of News Corporation.

McGraw-Hill will own 73 percent of S&P/Dow Jones Indices, CME Group will own 24.4 percent through its affiliates, and Dow Jones will own 2.6 percent.

S&P/Dow Jones Indices is expected to be operational in the first half of 2012, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

The new company will become part of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company following the separation of McGraw-Hill into two public companies, a plan announced on September 12.

Approximately $6 trillion in assets are benchmarked against these leading indices.

"This joint venture expands our dynamic index business and accelerates the growth of the new McGraw-Hill Markets company,’’ said Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McGraw-Hill.

Through the new JV company, “we look forward to developing leading risk-management solutions in equity indexes and across other asset classes,’’ said Terry Duffy, CME Group executive chairman.

Alexander Matturri, executive managing director of S&P Indices, will be chief executive officer of S&P/Dow Jones Indices.

Lou Eccleston, president of McGraw-Hill Financial, will chair the company's seven-member Board that will include five directors designated by McGraw-Hill and two by CME Group.

All current indices will retain their existing names, whether under the S&P or Dow Jones brands. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be separately maintained and licensed.

CME Group will keep its exclusive rights to the E-mini and other S&P indexed futures.

-- This article first appeared on Securities Technology Monitor.