Nationwide Financial Retirement Plan Specialists Earn Fiduciary Accreditation From Center For Fiduciary Studies Nationwide Financial first company to embrace accreditation for

entire field staff



    COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationwide Financial, the
 country's leading provider of small-business retirement plans(A), further
 demonstrated its commitment to fiduciary education recently when approximately
 40 company employees were awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary
 Audit(TM) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies (Center). The
 company was the first to require the accreditation of its entire field staff.
     The Center is a nationally-recognized training organization for
 fiduciaries. The Accredited Investment Fiduciary Audit (AIFA) designation
 certifies financial services professionals to conduct investment fiduciary
 audits and reviews, examining investment practices to ensure that processes
 are prudent and meet fiduciary practice standards of care.
     "As a recognized leader in retirement plan management and distribution for
 America's growing businesses, we are dedicated to educating retirement plan
 sponsors about fiduciary responsibility and best practices," said Michael
 Butler, senior vice president of Nationwide Financial Services Distributors
 Inc. "Earning this designation is another important way for our specialists to
 enhance their knowledge and skills so they can better help investment
 professionals, third-party administrators and plan sponsors put in place and
 maintain appropriate retirement programs for employees."
     Nationwide Financial has been innovative in providing fiduciary tools for
 its investment professional and plan sponsor partners. In early 2001, the
 company introduced its The BEST of AMERICA(R) Fiduciary World Series(SM)
 program, which offers a guide, online tools and training materials designed to
 assist in investment selection and monitoring and fulfilling key fiduciary
 responsibilities. The company plans to extend the training as an option for
 members of its third-party administrator network.
     "We are impressed with the way Nationwide Financial has approached
 fiduciary issues," said Don Trone, director of the Center for Fiduciary
 Studies. "The company's innovative approach to accreditation for their entire
 field staff will be a model for the industry. Today, more than ever before, we
 need knowledgeable people working in the retirement plan industry and
 Nationwide Financial clearly understands this."
 
     About the Center for Fiduciary Studies
     The Center for Fiduciary Studies is the first full-time training and
 research facility for fiduciaries. The Center, associated with the University
 of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, teaches fiduciary standards of
 care and investment best practices designed for trustees and investment
 professionals.  Courses are offered throughout the year at two locations: the
 University of Pittsburgh and Stetson University's Celebration Campus in
 Orlando, Florida.  Customized training is also provided to individual
 organizations on a case-by-case basis.
 
     About Nationwide Financial
     Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:   NFS), based in Columbus, is a
 leading provider of annuities, life insurance, retirement plans, and other
 financial services for individuals and institutional clients. The major
 operating subsidiary of NFS is Nationwide Life Insurance Company, one of the
 country's largest life insurers.
     Nationwide Financial, with assets under management of more than
 $96 billion in 2002, is the retirement savings and income operation of
 Nationwide, a leading provider of diversified insurance and financial
 services. The parent company is ranked No. 136 on the Fortune 500 based on
 revenue. For more information about Nationwide Financial
 visit www.nationwidefinancial.com .
 
     (A) Plan Sponsor magazine May 2002 (based on number of recordkeeping plan
 clients)
 
     * The BEST of AMERICA(R) Fiduciary World Series(SM) is made possible by
       Nationwide(R) Financial Services, Inc. and is under copyright
       protection.  The materials are designed for exclusive use with
       Nationwide products, programs and services.
     * The BEST of AMERICA Fiduciary World Series is general in nature and is
       not intended to constitute legal or investment advice on any particular
       matter.  Neither Nationwide nor any of its representatives provide tax
       or legal advice. The BEST of AMERICA Fiduciary World Series is not for
       participant use.
     * The BEST of AMERICA(R) Group Retirement Series includes unregistered
       group fixed and variable annuities and trust programs. Unregistered
       group fixed and variable annuities are issued by Nationwide Life
       Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio.
     * Program and trust services are offered by Nationwide Trust Company, FSB.
       Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member NASD. In MI only:
       Nationwide Investment Svcs. Corporation.
     * Nationwide(R) is a federally-registered service mark of Nationwide
       Mutual Insurance Company.  The BEST of AMERICA(R) is a federally
       registered service mark of Nationwide Life Insurance Company.  The BEST
       of AMERICA Fiduciary World Series(SM) is a service mark of Nationwide
       Life Insurance Company.
 
     Media Contacts:
     Tiffany Swinehart
     614-677-4297
     swinehj@nationwide.com
 
     Bethany McLeish
     614-677-8516
     mcleisb@nationwide.com
 
 

SOURCE Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.

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