Financial Engines, the country's largest provider of managed accounts to 401(k) plan participants, has acquired The Mutual Fund Store for about $250 million in cash and 10 million shares of common stock, for a total price of $560 million.

The acquisition will allow participants in 401(k) plans provided by Financial Engines to have access to face-to-face advice at any of The Mutual Fund Store's 129 locations across the country.

Considered by some as the country's first robo-advisor, the new investment in human capital by Sunnyvale, California-based Financial Engines comes as it recently opened direct access for all participants to the company's live stable of investment advisors.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.