Morningstar Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
287 Reviews
3.3
287 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Morningstar Chairman and CEO Joe Mansueto
Joe Mansueto
207 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Full of friendly co-workers, allows great work-life balance (in 50 reviews)

  • Good and flexible working hours (in 16 reviews)


Cons
  • High staff turnover at all levels including senior management (in 12 reviews)

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

More Highlights

141 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good Company, Great Values

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting work, good work/life balance, fair total compensation (benefits, pay, bonus), open vacation policy, paid sabbatical every four years, casual modern and laid-back work environment, great people

    Cons

    Some people promoted to middle management lack training and experience though efforts are being made for improvement in that area. Firing people is a complicated and difficult process; there are underperformers that have checked out and drag down the rest of the team. New hires fresh out of college (called MDPs) receive special treatment that breeds resentment in experienced employees with the company for many years.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    Not a place for the career minded or ambitious. The company is currently troubled and needs to make big changes.

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    While Morningstar's historic strengths have been diluted greatly the last five years, the company still features a great group of people who generally believe in the company's mission. Employees are highly educated and love investing. The office space is very nice, and the company culture is laid back.

    The work-life balance can not be emphasized enough. It is a place that still trusts its employees to do good work and will take care of you should you need time off. The benefits aren't as great as they used to be but still are a nice feature. The sabbatical program is a really great offer. For a young person or someone in the latter days of their career, the light work load, benefits, and reasonable job expectations can make for a great workplace environment.

    Cons

    Where to begin. While the founder and CEO deserves high marks for being an approachable and passionate leader, his personnel choices of late and his general approach to operating the company have wreaked a lot of havoc. The senior management is turning over slowly but still features a raft of lifers who manage upwards, engage in passive aggressive behavior, and largely don't have the skill or experience to meet their mandates. There is little consequence for failure if you operate within the favored clique of insider managers, so bad decision making and lack of managerial skill have calcified in most areas of the company.

    Compensation policies have always been extremely frugal both in general and relative to other companies in the financial services industry. Recently, the company shifted to a socialized, company wide bonus system and the introduced a young and inexperienced global pay czar at the HR level. These moves have lead to pay packages well below even a few years ago's already substandard offers.

    The company lacks strategic direction, mostly because it retains a very inward-looking approach to business. Strategic initiatives often make no sense . . .the recent cloud based software push that lead to nothing but wasted time and energy, the drive to compete with middle ware software vendors in the Advisor software industry, the push into real time and commodity data that fizzled and died very quickly. There is no emphasis on planning and bench-marking, so major initiatives get way down the road before anyone can determine that they are off the rails and doomed for failure. The recent company re-organization is a prime example.

    It cannot be stressed enough that there is no real avenue to build a career, gain seniority, and sharpen your skill set without playing the political games the company requires. The current management team basically has a "Do Not Solicit" sign out at all times and emphasizes a yes man culture. Smile and nod your head and you may have a chance. If you voice an independent opinion or offer constructive criticism, it blows back on you. This has lead to a steady stream of departures from the company in the most critical areas. The 10-15 year experienced, value added veterans are leaving as fast as they can, leaving behind a mix of youth and loyalists willing to play the promotion game. The talent pool is definitely depleting at the company.

    Finally, beware of the company's advertising. It is largely untrue. While it claims great products, it has skimped on development and support. While it claims to attract and retain great people, it underpays them and yawns when they leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Joe Mansueto has had had a remarkable run. He can continue to build on his company's great brand and heritage, but only if he makes some tough choices. Step back and hire a proper operator to drive results. Leave the day to day decisions to skilled management without such baggage and personal connections. Put to pasture the non-value add senior managers, emphasize accountability and results, compensate and develop your talent rather than starve them. Invest to really grow the company rather than bleeding incremental nickels out of every P&L.Get comfortable taking educated risks. Despite the company's very poor morale and the simmering frustration, there is still a sense that the company could really succeed if it is managed correctly. Don't waste the company's unique position in the investment industry!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Internal Shift to Centralization is Causing Major Problems

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Work life balance, flextime, location.

    Cons

    Simply put, most of the leaders lack leadership. And, it feels as though no job is safe anymore. Monumental shifts in the company where people and divisions do a reshuffling happen quite often, which brings more changes that the Company is struggling to execute. The company has shifted to a centralized company, which in an of itself is not a bad operational strategy. However, it has toll on its employees and clients. As a result, the culture has suffered and the products. There is more to a company's organization than updating organization charts. Little thought has been given to documenting and implementing how the company should operate as a cohesive unit and how to get things done for its clients. Many key leadership and management have left the company, and now the new CFO is cost cutting and trimming headcount throughout the organization. Salaries are below market. In general, new hires should not have high expectations for receiving a pay raise for many years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Morningstar has been an excellent company to work for. I've worked here since I graduated college in 2010.

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

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

    Pros

    Great company culture, flexible hours, no limit on vacation, every four years you get a 6-week paid sabbatical

    Cons

    Coordination between teams, salaries are lower than average, but the overall compensation package makes up for it in my opinion.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 24 people found this helpful  

    Gradually Derailing

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Summer hours, out-performing is easy, limited hours each week, work life balance, nice every-day perks.

    Our company has always been a gem in the investment industry for its limited hours and relaxed environment which are still consistently present at the company. Expect to work less than 45 hour weeks typically and enjoy the free soft drinks, tea and coffee (and bagels on Wednesdays). I think generally speaking, our managers mean well and do care about their employee's wellness.

    Cons

    Compensation packages, limited upward mobility, strategy inconsistency, regular corporate missteps, increasingly opaque.

    Over time, Morningstar is losing touch with its employee base. Many coworkers sit with hardly anything to do, and yet our headcount is exploding YoY. Projects regularly stall without adequate developers (or developers that are required to actually work at work) and during vacation season, people lose all sense of delivering what's necessary to our clients in a timely fashion.

    Simmering resent is perhaps as widespread as it's ever been during my tenure with the company - at face value everybody is happy, but when you talk to anybody over details, people are truly miserable. Limited hours sounds great, but this slack in employee time results in employees feeling underutilized and underappreciated. Add to this substantially sub-par pay packages and our hard working, innovative and bright employees are the ones leaving the firm. Often the long-term employees here are either high ranking and loaded with stock (very smart as well) or they're manipulators of the system who feel free to take 4-6 weeks of vacation a year and move slowly at best when they're on the job. A note for the ambitious, you will be utterly disappointed here.

    A specific note for future MDPs (Morningstar Development Program candidates), expect no negotiation salaries, dictated position changes, no pay increases with promotions, and annual raises that trail inflation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take your own advice regarding organic growth and stop the frothy M&A, create room for employees to grow vertically, pay attention to your employees that want more work and reward them.

    Joe, please take your own advice and select gritty candidates - not employees who are collecting a paycheck for 35 hours a week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good company to work for first up

    • 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 for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Very good values.
    Stable job.
    Above average 401K match besides other benefits.
    If you are a finance professional there is a lot you can learn at Morningstar.

    Cons

    Lack of growth once you reach team lead/manager.
    Pay is not up to market standards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your own people from with in. Outsiders are drawing big pay. But has done very little so far.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good company overall

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

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

    Pros

    Very entrepreneurial, very good work culture and company values. Lots of opprtunity to move around the company to gain varied experience.

    Cons

    Can be a little too insular. With so many small teams, lots of duplication of efforts, not as efficient as it could be.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience, nice people to work with

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    the people here are great and the culture is very laid back, unlike any other company I have worked for. I love the vacation policy and it is nice to know the company wants you to come to work, do your work, and then go home and have a life. there is no required face time, nor did I ever feel like I needed to stay longer than what my work too in order to be there

    Cons

    hard career progression, there are so issues with moving up in this company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire from within, you look outside for talent but that is not always the right answer.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    An OK place to work

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

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

    Pros

    - Office environment
    - Overall laid-back culture and work-life balance

    Cons

    - the work nature was boring, of course it varies by team
    - the company doesn't value each individual employee especially for the entry level. You get a feeling that they will be just as fine with or without you
    - If you want to really learn and grow and challenge yourself, this is not a place for you
    - HR team not friendly and helpful
    - Overall culture is dull

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about the high turn over ratio among entry level employees. People don't stay for a reason. The lack of personal care given to the employees, work itself, career progression prospective, overall culture..all play in. Feeling valued and making impacts are what keeps people loyal and sticking with the company. Losing talents, maybe not as visible, are real big costs to the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great work-life balance

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

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

    Pros

    People are very nice, the organization is flat. It's easy to ask for time off. Nice office, free bagel breakfast on Wed.

    Cons

    The pay is under industry average. And most of the jobs are very boring, lack of challenges. If you are an ambitious person, don't go there.

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