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Morningstar Announces Speakers and Agenda for Inaugural ETF Invest Conference, Sept. 15-17, 2010 in Chicago

July 30th, 2010

With an increasing number of assets flowing into exchange-traded funds and the need for expert analysis about these investment vehicles also on the rise, Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, will hold its first ETF Invest Conference Sept. 15-17 at the Swissotel in Chicago. The conference will bring together Morningstar’s ETF analysts and investing experts with the best and brightest in the ETF industry to offer thought-provoking dialogue about strategic and tactical ETF investing for an audience of financial advisors, money managers, and ETF investors.

“ETFs have dramatically risen in popularity and have become one of the most talked-about investment choices,” said Scott Burns, Morningstar’s director of ETF research. “Our new ETF conference is a response to the demand we’ve heard for an event that speaks directly to ETF investing ideas to help investors make informed decisions when including these products in their portfolios.”

Keynote speakers are Gregg Easterbrook, noted author, ESPN.com columnist, and Fulbright Scholar, who will speak at a luncheon on Sept. 16; and Matt Tucker, managing director for U.S. fixed income strategy at BlackRock, who will deliver the conference’s closing keynote address.


General sessions at ETF Invest will feature some of the ETF industry’s top thought and opinion leaders:

  • Dan Farley, managing director of SPDR ETFs – State Street Global Advisors will provide an economic outlook across a variety of asset classes and geographies on Sept. 16.
  • Scott Burns, Morningstar’s director of ETF research; will moderate a discussion about the current ETF landscape and the challenges on the immediate horizon with Noel Archard, managing director, iShares; Ben Fulton, managing director of global ETFs, Invesco PowerShares; Rick Genoni, head of ETF product management, Vanguard; and Joanne Hill, head of investment strategy, ProFunds Group; on Sept. 16.
  • Lee Kranefuss, former iShares chief executive officer who is often credited as helping to popularize ETFs as a mainstream investment option, will take part in a one-on-one conversation with Morningstar’s Don Phillips on Sept. 16 about the ongoing evolution of ETFs and how ETFs have changed the way advisors make investment recommendations.
  • Tom Lydon, author and editor, ETF Trends; Matt Hougan, managing director of ETF analytics, IndexUniverse; and Morningstar’s Burns will join moderator Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch columnist; for a free-wheeling “Meet the Pundits” session on Sept. 17 covering a broad range of ETF investing topics, including the current regulatory outlook and best practices for ETF investors.

Breakout sessions, which will address a variety of specific issues facing the ETF industry, include:

  • Sandip Bhagat, principal and head of the quantitative equity group, Vanguard; and Erik Ristuben, chief investment officer, Russell Investments; who will discuss modern portfolio theory and the future of asset allocation in the wake of recent market volatility with moderator Tom Idzorek, chief investment officer and director of research, Ibbotson Associates; on Sept. 16.
  • Derek Van Eck, chief investment officer and director, Van Eck Funds; who will detail the outlook for emerging markets ETFs on Sept. 16, as it remains one of the hottest ETF sectors in terms of both returns and asset flows.
  • Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer, Merk Investments; who will discuss the role of currency trading in a long-term ETF portfolio and his insight on the largest currency markets on Sept. 16.
  • Adam Patti, founder and chief executive officer, IndexIQ; George O’Connor, director, iShares; Peng Chen, president of Ibbotson Associates; and moderator Nadia Papagiannis, alternative investments strategist, Morningstar; who will examine alternative ETFs, such as new hedge fund strategies in investor-friendly regulated ETF structures, on Sept. 16
  • Mark Scheffler, founder and senior portfolio manager, Appleton Group; Rob Stein, managing partner, Astor Asset Management; Larry Cao, senior consultant, Ibbotson Associates; and moderator Paul Justice, Morningstar’s director of North American ETF research; who will debate opportunities and challenges in macroeconomic-driven sector-rotation strategies on Sept 16.
  • Eric Cott, director of financial advisor education, Options Industry Council (OIC); who will join Phil Guziec, derivatives strategist, Morningstar; to explore strategies advisors can use when buying ETF options for their clients’ portfolios on Sept. 16
  • Mitch Rubin, chief investment officer and managing partner; RiverPark Capital; Mike Trigg, portfolio manager and business analyst, WCM Investments; David Rolfe, chief investment officer, Wedgewood Partners; and moderator Esko Mickels, fund analyst, Morningstar Canada; who will convene on Sept. 16 to discuss their work in the next frontier of ETF investing: active ETFs.
  • Mark Balasa, principal and co-president, Balasa Diverno & Foltz, LLC; Ed Baldridge, president, Baldridge Asset Management; and Tom Driscoll, partner, Deloitte Tax LLP; who will talk about the tax implications and tax efficiency of various ETF product structures with moderator Timothy Strauts, ETF analyst, Morningstar; on Sept. 17.
  • Siddharth Jain, vice president of equity research, KBW; who will survey the banking, investment banking and insurance industries and provide his outlook for the financial sector and subsectors on Sept. 17.
  • Michael Iachini, director of investment manager research, Charles Schwab; Rick Ferri, founder and chief executive officer, Portfolio Solutions; and Hal Ratner, senior consultant, Morningstar Associates; who will discuss best practices in constructing ETF portfolios during their Sept. 17 session with moderator Christine Benz, director of personal finance and senior columnist, Morningstar.com.
  • Christopher Yeagley, managing director and U.S. head of equity structured products, UBS; and Fran Kinniry, principal Vanguard Investment Strategy Group; who will review the yield-producing ETF structures currently on the market with moderator Bradley Kay, director of European ETF research, Morningstar; on Sept. 17.

Registration Information

The Morningstar ETF Invest Conference costs $495 per person and includes two breakfasts, luncheons, and cocktail receptions.  A pre-conference workshop, “The Basics of ETF Investing,” will be held from 1 – 4 p.m. Wed., Sept. 15 at Morningstar global headquarters, 22 W. Washington St., Chicago. During the workshop, members of Morningstar’s ETF research team will guide advisors through an introduction to ETFs and the strategies Morningstar has developed to help investors make the most of these powerful new investment tools. Registration for the workshop is a separate $99 fee, and participants are eligible for three hours of continuing education credits. To register for the conference or workshop, call toll free at 866-839-9729.

More information about the 2010 Morningstar ETF Invest Conference, including the full agenda, hotel accommodations, and complete registration information, is available at http://www.morningstaradvisor.com/2010ETFInvest.

Press Registration Information

Full-time members of the news media may receive complimentary registration to the Morningstar ETF Invest Conference. If you are a journalist and want to attend the conference, please e-mail Shawn Malayter at shawn.malayter@morningstar.com.

About Morningstar, Inc.

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. 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 approximately 360,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. The company has operations in 21 countries.

©2010 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Media Contact:

Shawn Malayter, 312-696-6050, shawn.malayter@morningstar.com

SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.


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  1. July 31st, 2010 at 13:00 | #1

    With the very large number of ETFs available, it is good to see this conference to help make sense of the ETF landscape. Recent commission free ETF’s from Vanguard have recently become an interesting choice for investors especially for sector rotation strategies as tracked at mybestfunds.

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