Morningstar Inc. announced Tuesday it bought the Footnoted business from Financial Fineprint Inc., a privately held firm based in Peekskill, N.Y.
The acquisition includes the Footnoted.org website and the Footnoted Pro service. The price was not disclosed.
Footnoted.org analyzes hundreds of SEC filings daily to find information, such as evidence of aggressive accounting, excessive compensation, or “the type of questionable self-dealing that can indicate more serious problems at a company.”
Morningstar [MORN] said that Footnoted’s free site “has become a must-read for professional money managers and analysts, as well as sophisticated individual investors.” The company also publishes Footnoted Pro for institutional investors, including hedge fund firms, which provides insight on actionable items and filing trends.
Michelle Leder, who founded the company in 2003, will continue to run Footnoted, and Morningstar will make some content from the site available on Morningstar.com. Leder became interested in SEC filings while writing about a small Florida bank that was engaged in aggressive accounting during the real estate boom. As a reporter and editor, she spent 10 years at daily newspapers in Florida, Connecticut, and New York.
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.”