Chicago Firm Unveils Advice Product

February 15, 2006 ( - A Chicago-based company has announced it is now offering a third-party advice and asset allocation service priced for institutional clients.

A news release from Zacks IFE said the new offering targets plan sponsors that want to offer balanced funds and life cycle options that allocate among their existing plan assets, not a fund company’s proprietary investments.

According to the announcement, the role of the Independent Financial Expert (IFE) was developed in US Department of Labor directives on advice and managed accounts that were issued to the TCW Group and AIG/SunAmerica, respectively (See  Movements: Advice ). According to DoL rulings, turning over the control of employee assets to a qualified third party eases the conflicts of interest concerns that would otherwise exist when an employer or fund company offers participants investment advice, the company said.

The news release said Zacks IFE is led by Michael Case Smith who formerly worked at GuidedChoice, and SunAmerica. For more information, call 312-630-9880, ext. 427 or visit .