In the latest sign that separate accounts are truly going mainstream, Morningstar of Chicago has just launched a new star rating system for the investment class. 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 the 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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