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Martha Conlon Mossmartha.moss@morningstar.com
NEXT Financial Rolls Out Customized Morningstar Advisor Workstation to Financial Advisors

CHICAGO, Dec 11, 2002 – Morningstar, Inc., a global investment research firm, today announced it is providing a customized version of the Morningstar Advisor Workstation™ to investment advisors of NEXT Financial. 

Morningstar is providing NEXT Financial with a customized suite of Morningstar Advisor WorkstationSM tools, including a research module to analyze and compare the full universe of mutual funds, variable annuities, and individual stocks.  

"Our advisors are constantly looking for ways to harness technology so they can better serve their clients," said Les Gurvey, chairman of the technology development group at NEXT financial. "Workstation's powerful features will help our representatives get the most value out of Morningstar's proprietary research and increase their clients' success in meeting their financial goals."

"Morningstar Advisor Workstation is a comprehensive resource for NEXT Financial and will provide its representatives with a wealth of in-depth investment information," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business. "The Workstation's integrated set of tools helps advisors quickly research investment options for current and prospective clients and generates detailed hypothetical illustrations to map out recommended financial plans."

The Workstation features an asset allocation tool that helps advisors create investment portfolios with the appropriate target asset mix to meet the specific investment goals of individual clients and prospects. These tools also enable advisors to create NASD-compliant hypothetical illustrations and presentation materials in an attractive, client-ready format.   

About Morningstar, Inc. 
Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc. is a global investment research firm, offering an extensive line of print, software, and Internet-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, institutions, and the media. The company is a trusted source for investment information, data, and analysis of stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and variable annuity/life subaccounts.

About NEXT Financial Group  
Founded in 1998, NEXT Financial Group has grown from 12 representatives to more than 220, with representation across the United States. The firm has established a reputation for providing outstanding support to its representatives, and for holding them to the highest standards of client service. NEXT was recently awarded Investment Advisor's Broker/Dealer of the Year Award for 2001. NEXT Financial Group is managed and owned by its representatives and employees, allowing the firm to place the interest of its clients at the center of every decision. NEXT Financial Group is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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