CHICAGO, May 02, 2003 American Express and Morningstar today announced a new agreement in which Morningstar Associates, LLC is creating a customized version of the Morningstar® Advisor Workstation(SM) -a fully integrated set of Web-based investment planning and advice tools--for use by American Express Financial Advisors' more than 10,000 advisors.
The selection of Morningstar Advisor Workstation represents the second major investment advice agreement between the two firms. In January, American Express Retirement Services announced it would offer Morningstar Advice online and call center services, powered by Morningstar® ClearFuture®, to its 330 retirement plans, representing more than 1 million individuals. Once the services are fully implemented, millions of investors will have access to advice tools from Morningstar Associates across multiple channels: online, over the phone, or face-to-face with an American Express financial advisor.
American Express Financial Advisors will integrate all four modules of Morningstar Advisor Workstation--Research, Planning, Clients & Portfolios, and Sales--into its proprietary platform, providing a robust and complete tool for its financial advisors.
"American Express Financial Advisors is thrilled to further build on the relationship it has established with Morningstar by offering our financial advisors an integrated, turn-key approach to support the financial advice process," said Bill Elliott, vice president, Financial Advice for American Express Financial Advisors. "Advisor Workstation will help our advisors enhance their delivery of personalized financial advice and client-oriented service while saving them time and helping boost their productivity. Its flexibility is a perfect fit with our overall financial planning philosophy. The combination of Workstation and our internal platform fully supports our advisors' commitment to providing advice that matches the needs of the individual clients they serve. As a Web-based solution, it also supports the increasing importance of technology in financial advice, giving advisors an easy-to-use, time-sensitive application that will allow them to more easily monitor and rebalance client portfolios as appropriate."
"We're pleased that American Express Financial Advisors has now tapped Morningstar and the Advisor Workstation to help meet its complex planning needs. Working together, we were able to build a highly customized set of tools that will make it easier for American Express financial advisors to deliver tailored financial plans to their clients," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business. "Coupled with our work for American Express in the defined contribution market, this additional capability for American Express advisors creates the first truly integrated strategy and supporting system for helping clients through the investment advice life cycle."
About American Express Financial Advisors
American Express Financial Advisors Inc. is one of the nation's leading financial planning companies and currently owns and/or manages more than $198 billion in assets. Through a network of more than 10,200 financial advisors, the company provides ongoing, long-term financial planning and high quality financial products to over 2.6 million clients worldwide.
About Morningstar, Inc. and Morningstar Associates, LLC
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading global investment research firm that provides an extensive line of print, software, and Web-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, institutions, and the media. Morningstar is a valued source of investment information and analysis for stocks, mutual funds, separate accounts, exchange-traded funds, 529 Plans, closed-end funds, and variable annuities. Morningstar tracks nearly 100,000 securities worldwide.
Morningstar® ClearFuture® and Advisor Workstation's advice capability are provided by Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. The financial data and methodology used in ClearFuture are proprietary to Morningstar, Inc., and/or Morningstar Associates, LLC.