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Margaret Kirch Cohenmargaret.cohen@morningstar.com
Morningstar Introduces Enterprise Advice Solution, the First Fully Integrated Retirement Advice Service for Plan Participants, Sponsors, and Advisors

CHICAGO, Apr 15, 2003 – Retirement plan providers and employers are becoming increasingly interested in offering investment advice to plan participants, yet they face a number of challenges.  Among these challenges are regulatory and fiduciary issues, various levels of participant interest and usage, and difficulties in delivering consistent advice through multiple channels. 

To help meet these challenges, Morningstar is introducing the Enterprise Advice SolutionSM, the first fully integrated advice service that enables retirement plan providers to deliver consistent advice to plan participants and sponsors through a variety of media using the same underlying research, methodology, technology platform and design.  Providers may choose various levels of service including online or print statements for do-it-yourself investors, tools for call center representatives and financial advisors, professionally managed portfolios for participants who wish to fully delegate their investment responsibilities, and a retirement plan design and monitoring service for plan sponsors.  The Enterprise Advice Solution is offered through Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.

"Plan providers and sponsors face enormous responsibilities in creating retirement plans, educating employees, and ensuring that they are delivering consistent, quality advice to participants," said Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar.  "Morningstar is uniquely positioned to serve their needs because we offer a uniform set of advice tools for all types and levels of investors based on the same methodology." 

Mansueto added, "For nearly 20 years, Morningstar has been a leader in developing tools for financial advisors and investors.  In a few short years we've not only become the leader in providing third-party online advice to plan participants, but we've also significantly expanded our investment consulting services for plan sponsors.  Now, institutions can come to one place for all of their advice needs and know they have the Morningstar name, commitment to client service, and investment expertise behind them."

Several leading financial services firms, including American Express Retirement Services, ING, Nationwide Retirement Solutions, New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM) Retirement Plan Services, and Wachovia Retirement Services, have already entered into agreements with Morningstar to provide multiple components of the Enterprise Advice Solution to their defined contribution plan sponsors and participants.  

The Morningstar Enterprise Advice Solution includes the following services:  

For Retirement Plan Participants
Discretionary Asset Management:  Morningstar Managed Retirement PortfoliosSM is a discretionary asset management service designed for plan participants who want professionals to make their investment decisions for them.  If a retirement plan participant elects to use the service, Morningstar assumes the responsibility of managing the assets in the individual's defined contribution plan account.  Based on information provided by the plan, Morningstar creates a diversified portfolio to help meet each participant's retirement planning needs.

Morningstar Managed Retirement Portfolios is the only scalable asset management service for retirement accounts that considers all relevant plan rules and fund restrictions, makes prudent recommendations regarding existing positions in company stock, uses qualitative and quantitative analysis, and adjusts its fund recommendations if the participant provides information about outside assets, preferences for particular funds, or other personal data.  

Guidance and Advice:  Morningstar offers participants investment guidance and advice powered by Morningstar® ClearFuture®, the company's proprietary investment planning technology.  Morningstar Guidance helps participants choose the proper mix of investments at the sub-asset-class level to enable them to invest their savings based on their needs and goals, using an innovative "bear market" simulator to test their risk tolerance.  With the full investment advice service, participants receive specific security recommendations in order to build a diversified portfolio using the best investment options available in their defined contribution plan.  Both services offer a personalized, goals-based approach to retirement planning that takes into account an individual's entire portfolio, including non-retirement assets.

Guidance and Advice are offered to retirement plan participants through three different media:

Advice Online    Morningstar® Advice OnlineSM is available to more than 5 million participants through 44,000 retirement plan sponsors throughout the United States, more than any other online advice provider in the market.  Participants may access the online service on their own or discuss their plan face-to-face with a financial advisor who works for their retirement plan provider. 

Advice Statement    The Morningstar® Advice StatementTM, which is sent directly to participants, provides a  three-step analysis of the employee's current retirement plan, as well as recommendations that may help improve the quality of his or her investment allocation and potential retirement income.  The Advice Statement can be generated using Morningstar's design template or provided as a data feed to be incorporated by the client into its participants' account statements. 

Advice Call Center  –  The Morningstar® Advice Call CenterSM is a special online interface designed for use by retirement plan call center representatives when talking to plan participants over the telephone. The service provides phone representatives with a quick way to tackle both retirement goal analysis and investment selection. 

For Retirement Plan Sponsors 
Plan Design and Monitoring:  To help plan sponsors meet their investment and fiduciary needs, Morningstar offers a variety of investment consulting services, including employee demographic profiles, investment plan design and construction, investment policy statement creation, and ongoing investment monitoring.  Morningstar can perform a complete diagnosis of an existing retirement plan or create a new one from scratch.  As part of its plan evaluation, Morningstar provides a detailed assessment of a sponsor's current fund lineup and makes recommendations on how to improve the quality of investment options and to ensure adequate diversification.  In addition, Morningstar can act as an investment advice fiduciary for plan sponsors that fully implement its recommendations. A key differentiator is Morningstar's quantitative and qualitative approach to investment analysis, which provides plan sponsors with the information they need to make well-informed, timely decisions.   

For Financial Advisors 
Advice and Guidance:  Through Morningstar® Advisor WorkstationSM, a Web-based investment planning platform for financial advisors, Morningstar offers sophisticated advice and guidance tools to enable advisors to explore different strategies to help clients plan for multiple investment goals, including retirement.  The Advisor Workstation can be integrated with the Advice Online and Advice Call Center tools to facilitate movement of a participant's retirement account data from a self-directed environment to an advisor-supervised environment. Introduced in 2001, Morningstar Advisor Workstation is currently used by 30,000 advisors in more than 30 institutions.  

For Individual Investors
Guidance and Advice:  For those investors who do not receive advice through their company-sponsored retirement plans, Morningstar also offers a complete retirement planning service at Morningstar.com, the firm's investment Web site.  Subscribers to Morningstar.com's Premium Membership service receive separate access to guidance and advice, powered by Morningstar® ClearFuture® technology, as well as numerous portfolio tools and educational materials. 

For more details about Morningstar's Enterprise Advice Solution, please see the accompanying information sheet.

About Morningstar, Inc. and Morningstar Associates, LLC
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 of investment information and analysis for stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, variable annuities and separate accounts.  Investment advisory products and services are provided by Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.

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