Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), today announced that USI Consulting Group, one of the nation's largest benefit consulting firms, is now offering managed retirement accounts through Morningstar((R)) Retirement Manager(SM). USI has been offering Morningstar Associates' online investment advice, guidance, and research to its 700 retirement plan sponsor clients and 350,000 participants since 2001. The addition of discretionary managed accounts helps plan sponsors improve their retirement plan offerings by providing a solution for participants who aren't sure how to choose investments or monitor their retirement accounts on their own. Discretionary managed accounts may also be used as a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) under the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
"There is a great deal of variation in participants' capacity and desire to manage their own retirement accounts. Some may only want guidance or tools to help them do it themselves, while others may want to turn management over to financial professionals," said Bill Tremko, president of USI Consulting Group. "That's why we're pleased to work with Morningstar Associates to offer services ranging from advice and education to managed retirement accounts that can meet the investing preferences of a wide variety of participants."
With Morningstar Retirement Manager, participants receive a personalized retirement strategy, including a retirement income goal assessment, recommended savings rate, and construction of an appropriate portfolio using the investments in the plan lineup. Participants who enroll in the managed account service will also benefit from professional asset management, ongoing account monitoring, and quarterly progress reports to help them track their advancement toward their goals.
"The recent market volatility has taken a toll on investors' wealth and confidence. Having a comprehensive saving and investing plan and staying the course can help investors get back on track," said Patrick Reinkemeyer, president of Morningstar Associates. "We're focused on helping people create a retirement strategy that establishes long-term savings, contributions, and income goals. Once a strategy is established, our investment professionals can then create and manage an investment portfolio that is designed to meet those long-term objectives, and help move investors closer to a successful retirement."
About Morningstar Associates, LLC and Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar Associates, LLC, is a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. As of Dec. 31, 2008, Morningstar Associates' retirement services were available to more than 8 million people through approximately 72,000 retirement plan sponsors and 17 plan providers. Morningstar Retirement Manager is offered by and is the property of Morningstar Associates, and is intended for use by citizens and legal residents of the United States or its territories.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of Internet, software, and print-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on nearly 325,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 4 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. The company has operations in 19 countries and minority ownership positions in companies based in three other countries.
About USI Consulting Group
USI Consulting Group is one of the nation's largest benefit consulting firms providing consulting, administration and outsourcing services to approximately 1,000 clients nationwide. A wholly owned subsidiary of USI Holdings Corporation, USI Consulting Group's clients consist of public- and private-sector employers as well as Fortune 500 companies. The company is headquartered in Glastonbury, CT, and operates major offices in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; New York, NY; and Washington, DC. For each of the past five years, USI Holding Corporation has been one of the ten largest insurance brokers in the United States (according to Business Insurance, as measured by annual U.S. Brokerage revenues) and is a Goldman Sachs Capital Partners Company.