J.P. Morgan & Co. announced plans Wednesday to spin off its risk products group, which develops risk management methods, data, and software.

Morgan said it will maintain a significant stake in the new company, which will be called RiskMetrics Group. All 40 employees of Morgan's risk management unit will move to RiskMetrics and become shareholders of the new company. RiskMetrics, which will be based in New York and have an office in London, will eventually increase its staff to 60, a Morgan spokesman said.

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