August 4, 2017
Morningstar, Inc. and two retirement-focused subsidiaries of Prudential Financial, Inc. were hit with a proposed class action in Illinois federal court Thursday, with investors accusing the companies of colluding to design a robot-adviser program to steer them toward investments that paid Prudential high fees.
The suit, filed by an investor in a 401(k) program for employees of pest control company Rollins, Inc., claims Prudential Investment Management Services, Inc. and Prudential Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company worked with Morningstar to develop robot-adviser software GoalMaker, designing it to recommend expensive investments that earned Prudential millions in fees. The suit is seeking compensatory damages, treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
The proposed class is represented by NPR Of Counsel attorney Austin Tighe and NPR partner Michael Angelovich.
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