Morningstar announced Friday it will acquire mPower, a privately held firm that specializes in serving the large plan sponsor retirement market. Founded in 1995, mPower was a pioneer in providing online retirement advice.

The transaction will propel Morningstar’s online advice and guidance services to 9.1 million retirement plan participants and 53,000 plan sponsors through 34 plan providers. The acquisition will boost Morningstar’s existing participant base by 1.6 million, sponsor base by 6,000 and number of plan provider partners by 14.

Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar, said, "Our acquisition of mPower is a perfect strategic fit for Morningstar and strengthens our position as the leading provider of advice for our retirement plan participants. The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to investors, the large plan sponsor market and the advice business."

John Rekenthaler, president of Morningstar Associates is set to manage the combined businesses. He asserted that the two companies "share comparable investment philosophies"

Terms of the deal, which is slated for completion this summer, were not disclosed.

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