With four owners in 4-1/2 years, many hope that VARDS has finally found a home with Morningstar, which announced last week it has bought the company from Finetre for $9 million in cash, adjusted for working capital.

Morningstar decided to make the acquisition because of annuities' growing popularity, said Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar. "It's important that they have the best possible information to help them choose wisely among a wide array of investment offerings," he said.

Finetre announced it will use the influx of cash to invest in its core business of annuity transaction processing and compliance automation, said Shane Chalke, the firm's CEO.

"Finetre's core business is experiencing very rapid growth. That fact combined with the obvious strategic fit of VARDS with Morningstar makes this transaction a win for all parties, especially VARDS clients," Chalke said.

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