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MorningstarAdvisor.com Unveils New Broker-Dealer Center

CHICAGO, Oct 15, 2001 – Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of investment information and analytical tools, today launched the new online Broker-Dealer Center on MorningstarAdvisor.com, the firm's Web site for financial advisors. The new center allows financial advisors to evaluate the benefits and features of the products and services offered by participating broker-dealers.

"Choosing a broker-dealer relationship is one of the most important decisions advisors make," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's Advisor business unit. "Using the center's comparison engine, advisors can evaluate broker-dealer services side by side to see which is the best fit. Financial advisors can also gauge how their current broker-dealer's offerings compare with those of other providers."

MorningstarAdvisor.com's Broker-Dealer Center helps financial advisors simplify the process of researching and comparing broker-dealers by collecting and organizing key information in one place. Advantage Capital Corporation, FSC Securities, LPL Financial, Raymond James Financial Services, Royal Alliance Associates, Sentra/Spelman, and Sun America Securities are among the initial broker-dealers to participate in Morningstar's new online Broker-Dealer Center.

Each broker-dealer completes a questionnaire containing 28 questions and 38 data points regarding its background, investment products and services, technology, and production and compensation. This standardized questionnaire allows for direct comparisons among the providers and their offerings. Advisors can also contact a broker-dealer directly with follow-up questions.

"As broker-dealers compete for representatives, they are under increasing pressure to communicate information about their offerings and benefits to advisors," said Ingrid van Weenen, director of site strategy for MorningstarAdvisor.com. "Our new Broker-Dealer Center facilitates this communications process by providing a cost-effective way for broker-dealers to distribute information to more than 71,000 advisors on MorningstarAdvisor.com. The new center makes the process of comparing and contacting preferred providers more accurate, fast, and convenient." 

About Morningstar 
Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. is a leading, independent provider of investment information and analytical tools. Morningstar supplies a variety of products and services to professional investment advisors, including Morningstar Advisor WorkstationSM, a comprehensive set of online tools for investment planning professionals, Morningstar Principia Pro investment management software, Morningstar Mutual Funds+ , the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, and the Morningstar Professional Education Series

Morningstar Principia Pro, first introduced in 1996, is one of the most popular resources in the financial planning industry. Principia Pro's exclusive Multi-Asset Portfolio Developer takes a real world portfolio containing any mixture of investments and analyzes them as one cohesive unit. 

Morningstar's Web site for advisors, www.MorningstarAdvisor.com, was launched in mid-2000 and currently has more than 71,000 registered users. MorningstarAdvisor.com offers Morningstar Reports on more than 24,000 stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and variable/annuity subaccounts. MorningstarAdvisor.com's Due Diligence Center helps advisors streamline the process of comparing due diligence information from different mutual fund families by establishing an industry-standard format and a database of Due Diligence Questionnaires (DDQs) on individual investments from a growing list of institutions.

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