Morningstar Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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159 Employee Reviews

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  1. good

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

    I worked at Morningstar part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    easy, loose job amount, interactive

    Cons

    low paid, not flexibility , hard to get promoted


  2. Helpful (4)

    Nice easy going place to work, but overwhelmed by analysis

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It's casual. During company meetings they show videos that are genuinely funny. People are basically nice. You can take as much time off as you want.

    Cons

    There's a bit of paralysis by analysis. No one wants to make decisions. They higher a ridiculous number of business analysts who don't really make things any better. There is a lot of passive aggressiveness. Some departments are a bit lost.

    Advice to Management

    It's a good place, but try to make stronger decisions. Try to get rid of passive aggressive culture.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Fun Culture, smart people

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

    I have been working at Morningstar

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun culture, smart people, good work/life balance

    Cons

    Lower compensation. Don't always retain talent.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in growth areas.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    Terrible Middle Management

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work-life balance if you work with the right division (other divisions not so much). I have worked with four. Nice bagel Wednesday. Great office parties. Great health benefits. CEO seems like a very nice person.

    Cons

    There needs to be more checks and balances with middle management, there tends to be a lot of power mongering coming from them. So so for personal growth. Not as transparent as they claim to be.

    Advice to Management

    Keep a better eye on your middle management personnel.


  6. Helpful (7)

    Use to be a great place to work.... now not so much

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    It offers great work-life balance and is very flexible when you need time off.

    Cons

    As the company has grown it has become more "corporate" and lost a lot of the great things about it. It use to feel like working at a startup but now it is hard to get new ideas/innovations done with all the layers of managers etc. The company is too occupied with being rated as one of the top places to work and when those yearly surveys come out they keep encouraging their employees to rate them high.

    Advice to Management

    Seems like every year or so there is a new major reorganization that is very frustrating so would be nice to have a longer term vision. Also, lots of turnover in the executive roles.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Morningstar is by far the best company I've had the opportunity to work for.

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

    I have been working at Morningstar

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, bagel day, great benefits, casual dress, nice office space, unlimited beverages on every floor, etc!

    Cons

    Unclear path for career growth


  8. Helpful (10)

    Great work/life balance only partly offsets well below average industry compensation

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Laid-back, low pressure atmosphere. Great work/life balance as most people work no more than 45-50 hours per week and casual dress code. Highly intelligent equity and credit analyst peer group. Intellectually stimulating work with significant responsibilities and opportunity to learn. Research business is growing and doing quite well.

    Cons

    Comp, comp, comp. Did I mention comp? Salaries are okay, but bonuses are a joke... total comp 30%-50% below industry averages for experience level. "One Morningstar" means that our group is not properly rewarded for our superior efforts and higher levels of profitability & growth. Very tight budgets mean limited resources to do job properly (research tools, research data, travel). Pay does not scale very well as one moves up in the department or company. To put it simply, Morningstar is cheap. As a result, employee turnover is relatively high.

    Advice to Management

    Improve compensation and provide greater incentives to better motivate employees and retain talent.


  9. Helpful (31)

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

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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!!!


  10. Helpful (5)

    Better Than Most Companies, but Not Without Issues

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, such as sabbatical, unlimited vacation, casual dress, patio parties. Young environment and lots of opportunity for lateral movement.

    Cons

    Advancement is nearly impossible in some areas. Plenty of "golden children" in management that can do no wrong, but in fact are mediocre leadership. Compensation is very poor. Bonuses no longer reflective of effort put forth, so less incentive to work hard. All correspondence from management is pure rhetoric, it's disgusting. Management is afraid of failure, leading to poor conservative decisions that backfire. Alot of tenured people underperform but are overpaid and need to be fired, bring in fresh blood at better rates with new thinking.

    Advice to Management

    Review tenured employees and make independent decisions on their usefulness. Give real answers to questions, not just the fake canned responses. Make bonuses effort-based.


  11. Helpful (10)

    Internal Shift to Centralization is Causing Major Problems

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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.



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