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Barra Teams With Lipper to Communicate Risk to Investment


         Lipper-Barra Mutual Fund Risk Factor Provides More Reliable,
                       Forward-Looking Measure of Risk

BERKELEY, Calif. and NEW YORK, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Barra, Inc. (Nasdaq: BARZ), a global leader in risk management technology for investment professionals, and Lipper, the leading mutual fund research firm, today announced the release of version 1.1 of Lipper-Barra Mutual Fund Risk Factor(TM). Jointly developed by Barra and Lipper, Mutual Fund Risk Factor provides an intuitive, reliable measure of risk for funds that can easily be compared to competitors or peers. Funds are ranked based on their relative riskiness within Lipper classifications, Lipper categories and the broad market of equity funds.

The research and marketing of mutual funds is traditionally based on historical performance, a notoriously poor predictor of future risk and return. In contrast, Mutual Fund Risk Factor provides a forward-looking measure of risk based on Barra's industry-leading risk models and Lipper's mutual fund holdings database -- resulting in a single forecast risk number for each mutual fund.

"There clearly is a need for a new standard to communicate mutual fund risk in the retail investment community," said Claes Lekander, executive vice president at Barra. "Mutual Fund Risk Factor was designed to make Barra's institutional risk models more accessible to a wider audience. In teaming with Lipper, we combine Lipper's expertise in evaluating mutual funds with Barra's extensive global expertise in risk to deliver the only holdings-based, forward-looking measure of mutual fund risk."

Lipper-Barra Mutual Fund Risk Factor is augmented by Lipper Leader ratings that allow the user to conduct a better-informed mutual fund analysis. Lipper Leader ratings go beyond a simple, single summary rating by scoring each fund along five important dimensions including: Total Return, Consistent Return, Preservation, Tax Efficiency and Expense. For example, if a fund is designated a Lipper Leader in both Total Return and Consistent Return but receives a low score of "5" under Tax Efficiency and Expense, that fund would match the goals of an investor willing to pay more in expenses and taxes for strong and consistent relative returns, but would not meet the primary needs of an investor that is more cost-conscious and tax-sensitive.

"After the severe equity market downturn we've experienced, individuals are more and more concerned about the risks inherent in investing," said Robin Thurston, vice president and global research director for Lipper. "Risk Factors and Lipper Leader ratings arm investment professionals with the information they need to select the right fund for each unique client."

What's new in Mutual Fund Risk Factor

This release of Mutual Fund Risk Factor 1.1 now includes:

-- Fund Screener -- robust screening tool finds a fund or group of funds that match specific criteria, and exports to Excel with a single click;

-- Fund Fact Sheet -- summarizes risk and return information as well as fund characteristics in a one-page overview;

-- Fund Family View -- top-down analysis within a single fund family;

-- Historical Perspectives -- compares current versus historical top holdings, asset and sector allocations; and,

-- Fund Highlights -- one-page overview of how a fund's risk and return stands out relative to the market and its peers.


Lipper-Barra Mutual Fund Risk Factor 1.1 is available today through Barra and Lipper. Currently, Mutual Fund Risk Factor covers domestic and international equity funds registered for sale in the United States. For more information, visit www.barra.com or www.lipperweb.com, email: , or call for Barra or for Lipper.

About Lipper

Lipper, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters Group PLC, is a leading global provider of mutual fund information and analysis to fund companies, financial intermediaries, and media organizations. Lipper clients manage more than 95% of U.S. fund assets. The firm, founded in 1973 and headquartered in New York, tracks 115,000 funds worldwide through its offices in major financial capitals in North America, Europe, and Asia.

About Barra

Barra is a global leader in delivering risk management systems and services to managers of portfolio and firm-wide investment risk. Since its inception in 1975, Barra's single vision -- to empower its clients to make strategic investment decisions -- has made Barra the industry standard in investment risk management. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Barra has offices in all major financial centers around the world.

NOTE: Mutual Fund Risk Factor is a trademark of Barra, Inc. and Lipper Inc.

SOURCE  Barra, Inc.

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