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Morningstar to Provide Customizable Online Investment Planning Tools for Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors

CHICAGO, Nov 01, 2001 – Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of investment information and analytical tools, today announced that it is working with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) to offer a customizable set of online investment planning tools for Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors. 

Under terms of the agreement, Morningstar is providing MLIM customized features from the Morningstar® Advisor WorkstationSM, a set of online investment planning tools that will give Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors a more efficient way to create NASD-compliant presentation packets. The product features hypothetical illustrations and investment profile pages that are displayed in an attractive, client-ready presentation format. 

Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business, said, "Morningstar has been providing solutions to the advisor community for nearly 20 years. Our agreement with MLIM represents an exciting phase in the evolution of our business as we move our professional advisor tools to the Web and customize them for use by broker-dealer clients." 

"Our agreement with Morningstar supports our strategy of offering best-in-class sales and analytical tools," said Byron Vielehr, chief technology officer of MLIM. "We are now able to better present information regarding Merrill Lynch and other funds offered through Merrill Lynch to financial advisors and their clients. Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors can now generate comprehensive proposals by choosing from a vast selection of Merrill Lynch and other funds to create a single client-friendly presentation." 

About Morningstar
Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc. is a leading, independent provider of investment information and analytical tools. The company supplies a variety of products and services to professional investment advisors, including the new Morningstar Advisor Workstation, Morningstar® Principia® Pro investment management software, Morningstar Mutual Funds™, the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, and the Morningstar Professional Education Series

Morningstar's Web site for advisors, www.MorningstarAdvisor.comSM, offers 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.

About Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies with offices in 43 countries and total client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion. As an investment bank, it is the top global underwriter of debt and equity securities and a leading strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest managers of financial assets. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit www.ml.com

MLIM is one of the world's largest investment managers, with more than $507 billion under management as of Oct. 18, 2001. It offers a full array of equity and fixed-income, active and passive products to retail and institutional clients around the globe.

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