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IW FINANCIAL CREATES CONSULTING SERVICES UNIT TO WORK WITH MANAGED ACCOUNTS SOLUTION PROVIDERS, ASSET MANAGERS

- Firm offers expertise on how to include environmental, social, governance (ESG) and faith-based factors in investing process -

- BridgePortfiolio picks firm to expand ESG managed account solution offerings -

PORTLAND, Maine—(June 21, 2006)— IW Financial, a leading provider of objective research and analytics enabling investment professionals to evaluate companies’ environmental, social and corporate governance performance (ESG), has created a new unit to provide consulting services to platform providers, asset managers and broker/dealers participating in managed account solutions, it was announced today.

BridgePortfolio, a leader in providing private labeled portfolio management solutions to investment advisory firms, is the first platform provider to select the new IW Financial consulting group to integrate ESG research into its product offerings, the two firms said.

“In the last ten years, managed account assets have grown from under $200 billion to more than $700 billion as investors have sought to take advantage of the availability of more customized portfolios,” said Craig Muska, Director of Business Development at IW Financial. “We believe that ESG concerns will play a big role in driving the next phase of portfolio customization. Our new consulting unit will be ideally positioned to leverage our experience with both ESG issues and background designing and implementing managed account platforms.”


For firms seeking to attract new assets from these investors, IW Financial brings extensive experience in areas that include ESG and faith-based issue research; screenings/ratings tools and integration; investment product design; managed account platform evaluation and development; and overlay and MMA implementation.

“We are seeing a real need on the part of registered investment advisors for a new way to screen, build and monitor customized portfolios based on client-defined ESG preferences,” said David Edstrom, director of marketing at BridgePortfolio. “IW Financial’s experience in this area will help us accelerate the process of integrating these capabilities into our advisor platform.”

A new way to implement ESG strategies

IW Financial launched a new phase in implementing ESG investment strategies with the introduction of the IW Financial Workstation platform in 2004. The IW Financial process combines research on these factors with client-specified investment guidelines to help advisors evaluate the investment suitability of more than 2,000 publicly-traded equity securities.

Historically, asset managers and managed accounts providers have responded to investor concerns regarding ESG and/or faith-based issues primarily by providing the opportunity to exclude stocks based on industry involvement. IW Financial has taken a much more flexible approach, giving the investor the ability to include or exclude stocks or conduct a best in class analysis based on a broad range of user-defined criteria. This approach has found a following among SRI and faith-based managers as well as mainstream managers who are incorporating ESG information for the first time.

IW Financial’s consulting unit is the next step in bringing ESG and faith-based issues to the investment mainstream. The unit will assist platform providers and their managers in incorporating ESG and faith-based research into their business models and product offerings.

“We believe this level of flexibility to define ESG-related characteristics will be critically important to investors going forward, and will play a large role in helping asset managers, platform providers and broker/dealers attract new assets,” Muska added.