Morningstar
3.4 of 5 247 reviews
www.morningstar.com Chicago, IL 1000 to 5000 Employees

Morningstar Reviews

Updated Mar 19, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.4 247 reviews

                             

89% Approve of the CEO

Morningstar Chairman and CEO Joe Mansueto

Joe Mansueto

(183 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend
34 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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3 people found this helpful  

Great place to pick up new skills, but don't stay too long

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Morningstar full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat people
"Open" culture
Unlimited vacation policy
Laid back

ConsStagnant
Compensation does not match up to the market
Confused senior leadership
Sugarcoating serious problems underlying the company

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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12 people found this helpful  

Morale at all-time low

Product Manager (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Morningstar full-time for more than 3 years

Pros- Generous vacation policy
- Lots of employment mobility within the company
- BCBS health insurance
- Generally friendly people

ConsMorningstar is plagued with a multitude of issues right now. The company just went through a sales and internal reorg, and the aftermath is just a lot of confusion and frustration. Intra-team collaboration has basically disappeared, clients are confused about the new support structure, and development has come to a screeching halt. A key technology initiative that consumed much of the company's resources over the past 2 years all but flopped recently. Morale is at an all-time low. This is evidenced by the fact that the company used to make every "Best Employer" list, and received very few workplace accolades in 2013.

The company's compensation package is so unmotivating and flawed. Top performers in revenue-driving groups can expect to receive 2-4% pay raises. The attrition rate for recent college grads is incredibly high because the starting pay is far below market, there are so many hurdles that you have to clear to move out of your starting position, and subsequent positions have job descriptions that are not clear.

Advice to Senior ManagementIncentivize your employees to perform, let go of senior managers that literally do very little work, and inject some enthusiasm into the company!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Company in big growing pain

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Morningstar full-time for more than 10 years

ProsRelative good benefit
Flexible working hours
Big name in the industry

ConsIncline to bureaucratic leadership style
Managers are lack of the true ownership and solutions tackle the real world issues
Lost the entrepreneurship in management level and thus the business is flat

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep senior managers accountable
Fill more resources into positions do the work - not too manay management and project management roles.
Measure the performance or people and groups in objective way

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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6 people found this helpful  

Delivers on benefits and perks, Falls short on career development and organizational stucture

Analyst (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

I have been working at Morningstar full-time

ProsGreat Benefits
Acceptable focus on Work-Life balance
Talented Professionals
Company Perks - free beverages, lax dress code, company sponsored events

ConsLack of overall organizational structure

No formal training for managers results in poor middle management & leadership
poor middle management results in mismanaged employees with no clear career path

Poor compensation as compared to industry standards

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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18 people found this helpful  

Good for people in their 20s. No growth for older professionals. Losing direction.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Morningstar full-time for more than 3 years

ProsNot much any more. Free bagels on Wednesdays, free coke, but that comes at a big price.

ConsMorningstar's USP was its great culture, beautiful office and great people. The firm always had way below average compensation. Over the past couple of years, two out of three have eroded away. Morningstar still has a beautiful and appealing office, but the work culture is bad and the people are in shambles.

Work Culture
I saw a sea-change in the work culture during my few years at the firm. People used to be helpful, happy and collaborative in the beginning. There used to be many team building events and parties. This has been replaced by a culture where only a chosen few are happy and everyone else is looking for the first opportunity to jump ship. The politics in the company has increased exponentially. Towards the end I was suffering from the Sunday-afternoon syndrome from 3pm onwards when I would begin to dread the coming work-week. There is a tendency to promote certain people based on dubious credentials and these characters function in a very arrogant manner.

Management
The middle management thinks that they are much better than they really are. Work is not recognized or appreciated and these managers act like shields and do not promote the achievements of their reports to the higher-ups. The reason is that they can garner all the credit by claiming other people's work. This becomes a motivation killer because employees feel that nothing they do is going to get them to the next level anyway. Performance Reviews are a joke and merely a tool for the manager to harass the employees they do not like or are feel threatened by, or a way to reward the employees who cozy up to them and do not feel threatened by. Project priorities change every day so employees are left confused as to what the long term vision is. At the end of the year, you are left with a bunch of project that you are 80% done with and that does not play well in the performance review process. You can sense that there is an undercurrent of secrecy, tension and backbiting.

There is an initiative in the company to bring about uniform-ness in the product offerings and this project has been bungled by putting the wrong people in charge. Morningstar's tendency is to do everything on the cheap by assigning new college grads to work on this which would be "Morningstar's future". Management does not want to hire more or get contractors for this, so they are cannibalizing developers from their existing products that are in high demand and need development. While senior management never tires to gloat what this would do, everyone at the lower rungs knows that this is going to fail and would die a quiet death eventually in some face-saving manner. However, this is also starving the successful products, so the future is cloudy.

Compensation
Compensation is a sad joke and it always has been. They hire you and claim that they give out 40% bonuses and that the average is 20% but the reality is it is 10% and nowadays it is 3%. The chosen few (usually yes-men) get more but I talked to many employees and they got between 0% and 5% leading to dissatisfaction. They firm touts its "great benefits" but it is not that much greater than outside and they refuse to believe it.

Career Growth
Non existent. If you are lucky to get in 17 years ago, or have somehow been directly hired to a senior level, you are in good shape. If not, do not expect to be able to grow. HR sells new hires the "you can work in different parts of the company" line, but this is not true at all. I suspect that the company itself is not growing, so there are no new positions and the company is always in a save-money mode.

Overall:
A great company losing it's way.

Advice for people looking for employment
Join Morningstar if you are aged below 27 and have plans to do an MBA from Booth/Kellogg and have the company pay for it. Morningstar is a good name for the resume and you can get in easier if you work at Morningstar. Morningstar does not know what to do with MBAs so most people after finishing rather than stay around and work in a call center/tech support job.

If you are over 27, negotiate a title and salary that you will be okay with for the next few years because you aren't getting any significant raises or bonuses.

Advice to Senior ManagementPay your employees a fair salary. Appreciate the work that they do and think about career growth opportunities.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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7 people found this helpful  

Up or Out, Very Political, Overworked and Underpaid

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Chicago, IL

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

ProsGood opportunities for students in between their bachelor and graduate degrees. Brand name. Growing. Somewhat international. Very focused on mutual funds.

ConsOpportunity comes at the price of being overworked and underpaid. Emphasis is on keeping costs low in North America and outsourcing to China. Lots of politics and nasty behavior behind closed doors. Unless you started the company with Joe Mansueto, you are usually out in a few years. There are few opportunities for seasoned executives and limited room at the top. The perennial insiders make all the big bucks from their stock positions. Company has lost its way since going public.

Advice to Senior ManagementChange out the Chicago insiders who have been with Joe for years and have stopped innovating. They will not move on until they are pushed. Return to the principles that were behind the company's founding: Investors First, etc. That's been lost in the short-term focus on earnings and stock price.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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10 people found this helpful  

Dull job in a poorly managed, mediocre, and bureaucratic organization; no place to build a career/ grow valuable skills

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Morningstar full-time

ProsIf you need a job, Morningstar's ok. Expect little more from your time there. What the company doesn't offer in interesting work, industry avg. compensation, bureaucratic competency, or enjoyable social events, it attempts to make up for in:

1) Management that seems reluctant to downsize
2) Promoting those that stay at the company the longest
3) Casual Culture
4) Solid benefits (Medical, Dental, 401K)
5) Partial tuition reimbursement: CFA & MBA ($17,500/ year + 2 yr post-graduation commitment to work for M*, or all tuition $ must be paid back). High placement at Booth & Kellogg (Part-time only).
6) Bagels on Wednesday's, soda daily
7) Generous vacation/ sick day/ sabbatical policy (Can somewhat vary under different managers)
8) Nice mission statements

ConsMany departments are slow moving, dead end, and don't care to develop employees. Most positions are uninteresting, unfulfilling, and inadequately compensated.

Despite office congeniality, morale is low, team work mentality rare, and back biting common. Real incentive/reward for hard work, or growth of earning potential, doesn't exist (except on some sales teams). Business is challenged and in an awkward stage of development.

Confused and/or false messaging from upper management is persistent. Same as any other company, you can't trust the rhetoric. The execution of principles and policies is inconsistent across departments and managers. An innovative and entrepreneurial spirit no longer exists, having been replaced with an attempt to maintain status-quo. Value-creating start-up has been traded for an institutional deal-making culture. But, the transition has been managed poorly.

The realities of daily business are very different from the recruitment pitch and stated principals. It's no longer a "think different" type of place; it's products are not all that excellent. Expect a difficult time transitioning jobs in house or progressing beyond your present position.

Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in high-quality technology, programmers/engineers, data analysis tools, and effective QA of data accuracy. Without this, the strategy to generate more demand from institutional clients for products is undermined. Substantial numbers of talented senior-leaders and employees leaving the company is also expensive and damaging to morale.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Company has good reputation and will pay you less for it

Data Analyst (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Morningstar full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe overall culture is good and the people are very nice mostly. A very young company with a liberal feeling.

ConsThe pay is a joke compared to the industry and everyone there knows it. Management is very cheap and bonuses are generally 4-8 % of your salary which is also well belwo industry average.

Advice to Senior ManagementSpend more money and retain talent, the past two years at the company has been a revolving door due to low pay.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

not a place to stay long

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Morningstar full-time

ProsGood benefits
Work life balance
Friendly coworkers
Great work environment

Conslow base salary
no opportunities to be promoted
tedious job everyday

Advice to Senior ManagementPay attention to high turn-over rate and improve rewarding strategy across the whole company. You have a bunch of smart and hard-working folks, but treating them equally like others will not help you keep people.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Analyst

Analyst (Former Employee)
Chicago, IL

I worked at Morningstar full-time for more than a year

ProsThe benefits were a great perk.

ConsThe salary is well below industry average.

Advice to Senior ManagementPut people other than programmers in sr. Leadership positions

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Morningstar reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto. All 34 reviews posted anonymously by Morningstar employees.