In the latest sign that separate accounts are truly going mainstream, Morningstar launched a new star rating system for the investment class Thursday. Some said the new service could ramp up interest in the already rapidly growing separate accounts industry – particularly at a time when mutual funds are engulfed in a regulatory scandal.

"I think it could encourage more investors to go to separate accounts," said Tom Meyer, CEO of Meyer Capital, an independent advisory shop in Marlton, N.J., with $200 million in assets under management. "Anything that would help them to use these would make them more attractive."

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