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Wells Fargo Advantage Has Cleaned House, but a Few Cobwebs Remain

The firm's many mergers have yielded some good funds, though beware the price tags.

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Morningstar recently issued a new Stewardship Grade for the Wells Fargo Advantage funds. The firm's overall grade--which considers corporate culture, fund board quality, fund manager incentives, fees, and regulatory history--is a C. What follows is Morningstar's analysis of the firm's corporate culture. This text, as well as analytical text on the other four Stewardship Grade criteria, is available to those who subscribe to Morningstar's software for advisors and institutions: Morningstar Principia®, Morningstar Advisor Workstation(SM), Morningstar Office(SM), and Morningstar Direct(SM).

Wells Fargo Advantage has grown into one of the nation's largest fund families, thanks in large part to a string of acquisitions and a handful of particularly successful funds. It has done a decent job caring for fundholders' capital. Many of its steward practices have improved over the past decade. There's room for improvement in some areas, like the fund managers' investment in the funds they run, but overall, this firm's stewardship profile fits the industry standard.

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Laura Pavlenko Lutton does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.