CHICAGO -- Northern Trust selected Financial Engines to provide online investment advice to participants in its clients' 401(k) plans.
Financial Engines' advice service will be integrated into Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, an Internet-based service for defined contribution plans.
Financial Engines serves as the fiduciary for the program.
Although Northern Trust executives have no current plans to add other advice-givers, the arrangement with Financial Engines is not exclusive, said Michael Hall, Northern Trust's vice president of product development.
"We now have two different flavors of financial planning," Mr. Hall said.
In addition to the alliance with Financial Engines, Northern Trust also will offer plan sponsors an education approach that does financial modeling but does not suggest investments, he said.
However, the fee structure is unlike those charged for Northern Trust's other services, including education. Currently those fees are primarily are deducted from plan assets.
Plan sponsors wanting participant investment advice will contract directly with Financial Engines, he said.
"We wanted advice, but we did not want Northern Trust to offer advice," Mr. Hall said.
"Advice is in its infancy, he continued.
"We wanted to position ourselves early," said Mr. Hall.