REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 4, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. and Merrill Lynch today announced an agreement to provide customized personal investment research on the new MSN
MoneyCentral personal finance service. Through the agreement, Merrill Lynch, the largest full-service brokerage firm in the United States, will deliver the first customized, integrated content “clips” directly to MSN MoneyCentral, which moved to live release on the Web this week at http://moneycentral.MSN.com/ .
As a Premier Financial Provider, Merrill Lynch will reach the growing customer base of the MSN network of Internet services with relevant, targeted information about their personal finances throughout the day. The new content clips feature direct links to Merrill Lynch Online and complement MSN MoneyCentral’s current tools and resources to help consumers manage frequent financial tasks online, such as tracking their portfolio, finding new investment ideas and planning their retirement.
Through the agreement, users of MSN MoneyCentral will benefit from access to Merrill Lynch Online’s Free Real-Time Equity Research at http://askmerrill.com/ , in addition to timely news and editorial content at http://www.mlol.ml.com/ . Developed in partnership with Multex Systems Inc., the offer gives consumers access to customized stock research provided by Merrill Lynch’s award-winning research team of analysts around the world on more than 1,500 companies:
Research reports on specific companies, featuring analyst opinions, earnings estimates and more
An at-a-glance listing of the latest research reports from Merrill Lynch analysts
A Research Tracker that automatically displays reports for as many as 10 companies specified by the user
“Our agreement with MSN MoneyCentral is a way of acknowledging the importance of the Internet to our clients,” said John L. Steffens, Merrill Lynch vice chairman. “It’s more than a convenient service; increasingly, it’s becoming a vital link between Merrill Lynch, our financial consultants and our clients. And it has become a core part of our business strategy.”
Microsoft plans to introduce additional customized content clips from other Premier Financial Providers in the coming months. Consumers using MSN MoneyCentral can fully customize either the MSN MoneyCentral or MSN.com front page with content clips from their preferred financial provider.
“Our goal with the program is to put our providers front and center, enabling them to reach the right customer at the right time,” said Lewis Levin, vice president of the desktop finance division at Microsoft. “The Premier Financial Provider program is unlike any distribution opportunity on the Web today. It offers an integrated relationship that gives consumers the best possible resources and information to make smart, informed decisions about their financial future.”
The Premier Financial Provider Program
The new program is an extension of Microsoft’s continuing effort to integrate innovative technologies and tools with information and services from leading financial institutions. The MSN Financial Providers have complete control over the information they provide through the integrated content clips, enabling them to reach financially minded consumers with specific information, services, special offers and promotions.
As the program expands, Microsoft plans to offer its Premier Financial Providers enhanced content options for the consumer that will be increasingly interactive and customized. For example, financial institutions will have the opportunity to provide targeted information based on customer ZIP code and offer customers the ability to download bank account statements directly from the content clips.
MSN MoneyCentral, a One-Stop Personal Finance Resource
Going beyond providing consumers with tools and information, MSN MoneyCentral helps users assess their financial situation and start achieving their financial goals in eight critical areas: Investing, Retirement & Wills, Real Estate, Insurance, Money & Banking, Taxes, Family Finance, and Smart Buying. The online companion to Microsoft® Money 99 Financial Suite, MSN MoneyCentral features the award-winning MSN Investor and is integrated into the MSN network of Internet products and services, making it easier for consumers to keep in touch, stay informed and get more done online.
About Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, with offices in more than 40 countries and total client assets exceeding $1 trillion.
As an investment bank, it is the top global underwriter and market maker of debt and equity securities and a leading strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Asset Management and Mercury Asset Management, the company is one of the world’s largest managers of financial assets.
MSN MoneyCentral, rated the top online investment service by Barron’s last week, is a complete online personal finance resource for consumers, delivering easy-to-use tools, recommendations from dedicated financial professionals, financial data from more than 15 leading content providers, and seamless integration with the award-winning network of MSN services.
MSN MoneyCentral features the award-winning MSN Investor at http://investor.MSN.com/ , which helps users track their investments, get new investing ideas, research their next investment, and find thoughtful and informative editorial content written by leading financial experts who can keep them up to date on the market.*
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions and get more done. MSN offers award-winning
e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
*MoneyCentral’s editorial goal is to provide a forum for investment ideas. Investor’s articles and columns of MSN MoneyCentral should not be construed as investment advice, nor does their appearance imply an endorsement by Microsoft Corp. of any specific security or trading strategy. An investor’s best course of action must be based on individual circumstances.
Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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