3.4 of 5 268 reviews Chicago, IL 1000 to 5000 Employees

268 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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9 people found this helpful  

Solid Career Launching Pad, Beware of Stagnation

Senior Product Manager (Former Employee)

Pros- Mission of helping investors admirably adhered to
- Friendly, Midwestern vibe
- Comfy, safe employment
- Access to top brass
- Non-monetary perks (vacation policy, sabbaticals)
- Academics rule
- Phenomenal design

Cons- Pay is sub-optimal, stock options aren't used as a real incentive
- Human Resources are not professional
- No rewards for top performers, no downside for non-performers
- Career advancement missing and unscientific
- Commitment to technology died in about 2005
- Non-competitive environment

Advice to Senior ManagementI spent 8 years with Morningstar, straight from college (pre and post IPO), working in two countries in various parts of the business so in a sense I became part of management. I'm proud of my accomplishments, friendly with many current employees, but frustrated about missed opportunities and a lack of personal financial gain.

Make no mistake, this company benefits investors and acts accordingly. Senior management is fantastic, especially Don Phillips, and of course Joe Mansueto. On the whole, everyone is genuine, friendly, and hard working. Employees enjoy a lot of freedom to explore projects and make a name for themselves. My opinion is Joe M is first and foremost an investor, which means he runs his company in a lean, safe, and conservative manner. He can afford to lose people with a lot of institutional knowledge like me because at the end of the day, Morningstar's profitability comes from their fantastic data business and being a "great place to work" means a long line of young, academically-minded grads waiting to get an interview.

The problem for career-minded people looking to rise up through the ranks and make serious money (at least $200k) is that a good portion of the original executive committee is still in place and awfully comfortable after having benefited immensely from the 2005 IPO (and I don't blame them). Until these people sunset, the company lacks bold direction and new initiatives.

Culturally, Morningstar is caught in an odd place. In one sense they're trying to compete with traditional financial services firms, which hurts salary comps and makes them appear out of the "deal making" loop (no New York presence, e.g.). In another sense they pioneered a workplace culture and benefit system, which today is the norm for tech companies so its novelty has worn off.

Morningstar is filled with bright and eager recent college grads using Morningstar as a way-station until being accepted at Kellogg or Booth, or as very cozy place for people to remain forever. There's way too much in at 9AM, out at 5PM, back on the train to the suburbs behavior. You don't get the sense that the company is leveraging their fantastic success story or getting the best and brightest.

Advice to management:

Offer a partnership structure in which younger leaders are incentivized via long-term equity vesting awards of serious size. My pre-IPO options plus seven years of annual equity awards was immaterial.

Fix HR throughout the company. Salary negotiations are not taken seriously, and there have been a number of embarrassing breaches in confidentiality, to say nothing of the total lack of career planning or advice.

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

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    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Flexible hours to balance work with life

    Equity Research Analyst (Current Employee)
    Mumbai (India)

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time for more than a year

    Pros: Work-life balance has never been easier than being at Morningstar. Despite being a financial services firm the company gives its employees… Cons: Once you get use to the easy-going culture at Morningstar, and casual dressing it may be harder… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Good environment good manager

    Intern (Former Employee)
    Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

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

    Pros: -good management which can encourage you to contribute -good life balance;… Cons: -not many headcounts added every year for Asia -paid less than… More
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