Research and data provider Morningstar has acquired indexing specialist Moorgate Benchmarks for an undisclosed fee.

ETFS Capital provided seed funding to Moorgate in 2019 and acted as the company’s sole external investor. Following the acquisition, the firm will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morningstar.

Morningstar said adding Moorgate Benchmarks’ index design, calculation and administration technology capabilities to its own data, research and intellectual property will allow investors to access more customised indices delivered at a faster pace.

Furthermore, Moorgate Benchmarks' strong presence in Europe will expand its ability to service European clients.

Moorgate Benchmarks’ 20 employees, based in the UK and Germany, will join the Morningstar Indexes team while the company’s CEO, Tobias Sproehnle, will become head of Morningstar Indexes in Europe and report to Ron Bundy, president of Morningstar Indexes.

Commenting on the acquisition, Bundy said: "The index industry today needs disruption, with a number of entrenched players who are not providing enough value and innovation to investors for the fees they charge.

"The capabilities that Moorgate Benchmarks brings will help accelerate our goal of becoming a leading global index provider by providing more value to the end investor."

Sproehnle added: "We have already built a strong rapport and respect for the Morningstar Indexes team in our work together over the past year, and I am personally excited to play a larger role in fuelling innovation in the industry to benefit our clients and the broader investment community."

Previously, in April 2020, Morningstar acquired environmental, social and governance (ESG) data provider Sustainalytics to expand its sustainable analytics capabilities.