Morningstar is expanding its dataset with a deal to buy Hueler Analytics’ stable value information services, the research and ratings firm announced today.
The acquisition includes Hueler’s Stable Value Comparative Universe Data and its Stable Value Index. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Hueler’s data give a view of stable value assets within defined-contribution plans, in which the investment vehicles represent about 10% of assets, according to Morningstar.
“Hueler’s Stable Value Index is the only industry index derived from aggregate returns of contributing stable value product providers and dates back to 1983,” Morningstar said in a statement.
Assets in stable value totaled $839 billion among 179,000 DC plans at the end of 2018, the company said, citing data from the Stable Value Investment Association.
In 2018, about 64% of DC plans included stable value or investment contract options, with an identical proportion of plans offering money markets, according to data from Vanguard’s How America Saves 2019 report.
Less than 2% of DC plan sponsors said they added or planned to add stable value investment options to their menus in 2019, according to data from Callan.
Last year, 401(k) plan participants who made trades in their accounts flocked to stable value. Twenty-seven percent of inflows that resulted from trading went to stable value, compared with 13% for money market funds and 55% for bond funds, according to data from Alight Solutions.
“While largely invested in fixed-income securities, stable-value funds are designed to provide steady, predictable returns that exceed money market investments over time and are protected from any loss of capital or interest through contracts from an insurance company or bank,” Joscelyn MacKay, director of data products for the Americas at Morningstar, said in the announcement.
Hueler founder Kelli Hueler will act in a consulting role as the stable value data service and index transitions to Morningstar, as will Hueler managing director of operations Kathleen Schillo, the companies noted.
The data will become available through Morningstar Direct and from Morningstar Data, according to the release.
Hueler provides another service, its Income Solutions Lifetime Income Annuity Platform, that is not part of the acquisition.