Morningstar

  www.morningstar.com
  www.morningstar.com

Morningstar Reviews

Updated November 13, 2014
Updated November 13, 2014
296 Reviews
3.4
296 Reviews
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Morningstar Chairman and CEO Joe Mansueto
Joe Mansueto
212 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work/life balance as most people work no more than 45-50 hours per week and casual dress code (in 60 reviews)

  • The work environment is terrific: very collaborative, with a lot of smart people employed there (in 35 reviews)


Cons
  • High staff turnover at all levels including senior management (in 14 reviews)

  • Very low pay (as an analyst) compared to other companies in the financial industry (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 11 people found this helpful  

    Join Morningstar only if you are lazy, lack ambition and want relaxed retirement job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morningstar

    Pros

    I am a former employee of Morningstar and I worked in the Software Division for a number of years. The work culture once made Morningstar a great place to work but that is sadly no longer present. They still have free bagels on Wednesdays, and some teams have summer hours. Occasional patio parties in the summer, but those have reduced. They offer 6 weeks paid sabbatical every 4 years which particularly appeals to the type of employee who is unmotivated and looking for an excuse to take off from work. Nice cool looking office, but you cannot take that to the bank.

    Cons

    Senior Management
    The CEO is a good man, but more recently he seems to have lost control over his company and does not know what his underlings are doing. The Presidents who report to him have been in the company for 15 to 20 years and have gotten used to doing less and less for higher and higher salaries and bonus. They aren't leaders, they are just place-holders and seat-warmers. People down the chain snicker at their abilities instead of looking up to them for leadership. While incompetent, they are mostly harmless. This cannot be said about the lower level of managers who are actively involved in political machinations to make themselves look good while grabbing credit for work that their direct reports have done without giving them the credit. This is rampant throughout the company. It happened to me and many others I know. These managers place themselves as intermediaries between the lowest level and the senior management and give them the message that all the ideas and innovation was their idea and everyone else just follows their leadership. This seems to work and these people are awarded promotions.

    Work Environment
    The work environment and the people were great when I joined, but around a year and a half everything began to fall apart quite rapidly. The software division had a re-org and some unworthy people were promoted way above their capabilities and given fancy titles like Director, VP, Sr VP etc. Most of these people had collected accomplishments by claiming other people's work. With greater titles come greater responsibilities, but these people got arrogant and began to throw their weight around. Courteous people suddenly became insufferable and hard to work with. I began to get the Sunday afternoon blues, when from Sunday 3pm onwards, I begin to dread coming into work on Monday. Everyone got into a hunker-down "cover my backside" mode and everyone backstabbing each other. The sales team was particularly notorious and would blame other teams whenever they failed to get a deal, and would hog all the credit when a deal went through. And of course, they got the promotions, bonuses and raises along with the accolades leading to resentment in the teams that actually built the product that made this happen.
    My own manager got into some trouble with some clients he was working on, so he began to involve me in the mess that he created, so he could spread the blame around. He had not bothered to call me into meetings when things looked good. He was weird and seemed to suffer from sort of bipolar disorder with passive-aggressive behavior. He would be nice and pleasant to my face and then send me nasty angry emails soon after. Morningstar seems to have a lot of such people with mental and psychological issues.

    Diversity
    Diversity is practically non-existent at Morningstar. If you are not from a certain ethnic group, you have no avenues of career growth. Do not buy the lie that HR tells everyone that you can move around in the company and do different things. The reality is that if you are Asian, once you are hired, you will be chained to that job until you leave, you die, or they get rid of you. Diversity exists only at the lowest level of developers and QA people.

    Human Resources
    HR is arrogant, rude and their job seems to be only to protect the company and not help employees work better. They lie to you when they bring you in. The HR person I worked with misled me by saying that bonuses were usually 25% for the group that was hiring me. Reality was only about 7% and raises were gone by the second year. They come up ill thought plans to give people experience working in other groups and most of these schemes die quickly. For example, they started talking about allowing employees in tech get some financial experience and then nothing happened. Morningstar is great at creating MBAs from top schools like Kellogg and Booth, but horrible at figuring out what to do with them. Many of them end up in support jobs taking phone calls.

    Salary, Benefits
    Salary is probably the worst in the industry. The game plan is to hire kids straight out of college at low salaries and have them compete with more experienced people to drive down costs. But you get what you pay for and this caused the multi million dollar cloud project to completely fail and get quietly shelved. Some years ago, HR hatched a plan to "convince" employees that they were paid fairly by putting out a page of numbers for each one, but then no one bought it. It was a bad idea to begin with, because everyone compares their measly salary with their friends' in comparable jobs and feel cheated. Good luck keeping good talent, Morningstar! I myself took a huge paycut to accept Morningstar's offer only because I thought it made sense at that time to trade off salary for good experience. The "benefits" are not any better than any other company though the company likes to tout it that way.

    Bottom Line
    Pass on Morningstar. It is no longer the great place it was. Join only if you are offered or can negotiate a great deal because that's all you will get for the next many years until you quit. If you are young (27 and under), join, get some experience and leave. Morningstar is currently paying for its sins of employee alienation and hard working employees are leaving the company in droves, leaving behind the slackers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit. Or get the CEO to fire all of you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morningstar as a contractor

    Pros

    very bad place to work. gosip, backstabbing, art and music instead of financial background

    Cons

    Terrible: outdated, underpaid, overworked, under producing bunch of people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    terrible

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 18 people found this helpful  

    A Complete Joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great downtown location, solid benefits, free bagels every Wednesday

    Cons

    The company is full of immature young people in their mid-twenties who really need to grow up. On top of that, there are a lot of managers who will do whatever it takes to do absolutely nothing. They actually spend more time and effort trying to get out of work than actually doing any real work. It’s pretty sad. It is clear that there are only two types of employees here. Lazy, unmotivated people who tend to stick around for a very long time, and highly motivated people who leave as soon as they find a better opportunity. I’ve never seen more dysfunction and archaic ways of going about things in my career. If you want to work in an incredibly boring industry with a lot of lazy people, make sure you get your application in today. Otherwise, go to great lengths to avoid this dump.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop living in complete denial and admit that this company is totally dysfunctional and disorganized. Then when you combine all the clueless recent graduates who think they know the answer to everything with the lazy management, you have an even bigger problem. It’s embarrassing how many people need to be shown the door. No cutting-edge professional that is serious about their career and demands to be treated with respect will ever stay working here one day longer than they have to.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Morningstar Response

    Jan 24, 2014Krista Nannery, Human Resources

    Thank you for your review. I am sorry you had a bad experience. We would like to know more about it. Please contact me directly to tell me more about your time with us.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 13 people found this helpful  

    What is with the salaries?

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morningstar

    Pros

    good benefits and good atmosphere

    Cons

    Not sure how why Morningstar feels it can give salaries as if it were a nonprofit. Salary for Interaction Designer is about 33% less than the local average. This company is functioning in the stone age when it comes to technology and its design methodology.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to wake up and realize the benefits of user experience and hiring smart design people.

  6. 11 people found this helpful  

    Misery

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some people do not work very much. If you are one of those people, work-life balance is good for you.

    Cons

    I believe the company, at least the research department, systematically discriminates against older employees. If you have a career, pass this company by. If you are starting out in your career and want to learn how to carry out business in an unprofessional way with unpleasant people, this is your big chance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 8 people found this helpful  

    Terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tech Sector in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Tech Sector in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Morningstar as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    nothing can be said to be good when all business model id based on a deception

    Cons

    All is based on a deception

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing can help this company

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Overworked and under compensated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The company prides itself on helping the individual investor, which is a belief to which most employees truly subscribe.
    - Free lattes and casual dress are incentives that some employees really enjoy, but don't outweigh the cons.

    Cons

    - Management struggles with decisions on how to best structure the firm, and as such there have been multiple large-scale reorganizations in recent history.

    - Compensation is severely below market for finance and IT professionals. Compensation is also awarded from top-down success of the company, and, as such, the (financial) incentive for individual business units to strive for success is completely eliminated.

    - Flat management structure and segregated business units leave little chance for upward mobility.

    - Many groups are very understaffed, so the promoted "work-life balance" that Morningstar prides itself upon is simply not true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Hire outside consultants or those with executive management experience OUTSIDE of Morningstar. Remove the flat management structure and increase compensation to retain truly talented employees. Stop wasting money by providing so much tuition assistance to people who will only use those advanced degrees to receive market wages at another firm.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Don't know what to say. Change my review from 2 stars to 1 star.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Applications Developer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good Work/life balance, if you don't have anything else to do, work for this company.
    Decent salary if you just want to have something to eat and live.
    Good Education benefit if you want to continue work for this company for two years.

    Cons

    The dead end jobs are all over this place.
    The effort was not recognized and appreciated.
     Incompetent and dishonest line manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    if you want people to leave, just directly fire them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 14 people found this helpful  

    Disorganized and unprofessional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It is not a bad place for someone to start a career in the financial services industry. Work there for the mandatory 2 years between getting your Bachelor's degree and applying for B-School. The work is as monotonous as you would experience as a trainee at an investment bank, but the company is much less demanding regarding time at the office.

    Cons

    The company is basically a start-up that was in the right place at the right time (had a fund rating product in the '80s when employers started converting pensions into 401(k) accounts and shifting the burden of retirement planning to workers). The upper management believes there company has been successful because of the brilliance of their management. In actuality, the company has succeeded despite rather than due to the management. Sometimes there is nothing more dangerous than success; Morningstar is a case in point.

    Business decisions are made by people unqualified to make them and inexperienced. These are the ones who have worked for the company for years and who, whether competent or not, are trusted by someone above them who is similarly incompetent. The result in the area where I worked was a real Lord of the Flies kind of story where people with no management experience and little experience in the general industry were put in positions of supervision over others. Imagine someone that might be working as an assistant at a reputable investment bank instead being the head of a 100-person group.

    Morningstar's business is struggling as the organization long ago exceeded the limits of their competency and two market crashes within 10-years has removed the attraction in many of their clients' minds of investing in the market. The company is attempting to shift its focus to institutional customers, but haven't realized that this is a much more competitive market with players who are much more well established, much better run, and have much deeper pockets. Morningstar has captured the low-hanging fruit--now what.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Joe Mansueto. You should hire some good management consultants, fire most people who have worked there for 10 years or longer (including your incompetent CFO and Head of HR), staff your company with experienced, knowledgeable people, make yourself chairman emeritus, and turn over the running to a professional manager.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor managment and organizational structure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Director in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The benefit package seems to be the only positive to the company. However, because their policies aren't consistent across the business lines, there seems to be discrimination on what some of benefits are for employees depending on what business unit your work for except for health care benefits.

    Cons

    Morningstar has really poor talent in their management and organizational structure. There is no leadership and it still operates as though the company is small, private and working out of an apartment. They have not been able to change their internal structure to match their growth. The culture allows poor performers to do well and not produce but penalizes those who are productive, results oriented and could be instrumental to their growth. If I were a stock holder I would be very concerned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some outside consulting to come in and direct a re-engineer of the company. Get some new, experienced leadership that will performance manage the non-productive employees out and offer more incentives, salary and growth potential for those who produce. Basically, you need to clean house and bring in the talent you need in your management and human resource to grow and sustain. It is not just the employee satisfaction you should be concerned about but also customer satisfaction

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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