CHICAGO, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced several appointments within its fund analyst research team. Scott Burns has been named director of fund analysis for North America. Burns most recently was director of ETF, closed-end, and alternative fund research. In this new role he will also lead the mutual fund analyst teams in the United States and Canada. In addition, the company is aligning its fund research coverage along four areas: active, passive, alternative, and fund of funds, under the leadership of Burns, who reports to Don Phillips, president of fund research. Michael Herbst has been promoted to director of active strategy research, spanning open-end and closed-end funds as well as active ETFs. Paul Justice and Ben Johnson will co-lead coverage of passive strategy research, now including both ETFs and traditional index funds. Nadia Papagiannis will continue to lead Morningstar's alternative fund research, covering alternative mutual funds and alternative ETFs. Laura Lutton will be responsible for leading fund-of-fund research, including managed ETF portfolios, 529 college savings plans, and target-date funds. Lutton has also been named chair of the editorial committee that sets the overall direction for investment analysis across the four coverage areas in North America. "Scott is a brilliant analyst who has done a terrific job leading and significantly expanding our ETF, closed-end fund, and alternatives coverage. Always a champion for the investor, Laura has done an exceptional job overseeing our Stewardship and target-date research. We're also pleased to announce Michael's new role as director of active strategy research. Michael is a natural leader who has broad experience covering funds across all asset classes," Phillips said. "Most investors don't hold exchange-traded funds or active mutual funds exclusively. Instead, they invest across a spectrum of vehicles. Our new alignment of coverage into active, passive, alternative and funds of funds research reflects the evolution of how investors are evaluating and employing investments in their portfolios."