Morningstar, the Chicago-based fund researcher, said today that it will offer a group of new indexes early next year that are intended to be licensed to mutual fund companies developing new index-based products.

The move comes after Morningstar expanded its business model this year to begin offering portfolios of mutual funds through its subsidiary, Morningstar Investment Services.

The indexes, 16 in all, could also be used to develop new ETFs and derivative securities, the company said. Morningstar will base the indexes on its well-known style box scheme, which juxtaposes a fund’s investment style and capitalization factors.

The idea behind the indexes, said Don Phillips, Morningstar’s managing director, is to "eliminate security and investment-style gaps or overlap. Traditionally, the way investors have thought about the market has been divorced from the way they assemble portfolios or analyze securities. By linking our fund and stock categories with tools for building portfolios and tracking the market, we hope to make it easier for investors to understand their overall positioning and to make necessary adjustments."

The new indexes will include seven aggregate indexes, including: a broad-market index; large-, mid- and small-cap indexes; value, neutral and growth style indexes.

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