Morningstar Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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336 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Structured Credit Ratings

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President in Horsham, PA
    Former Employee - Vice President in Horsham, PA

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours. As long as you can get your work done the hours are extremely flexible. Work on some institutional real estate. Travel frequently.

    Cons

    They take all the money that structured credit ratings makes and pump it into the entire Credit Ratings group. So the margins in structured credit are huge but they operate under a one morningstar policy that take those margins and spreads them around to other groups that aren't as profitable.

    Advice to Management

    Understand where your bread is buttered. The turnover has been high recently because management fails to recognize (via bonus pool) where the money for structured credit ratings is coming from.


  2. 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


  3. Helpful (3)

    Analyst

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

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than 5 years)

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Ability to be the point person on a list as a relatively junior analyst. Freedom to research any area of interest under your coverage list.

    Cons

    Lack of resources for traveling and researching companies and industries. Straddling costs for trying to serve multiple end markets.


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  5. Helpful (6)

    Best days are behind it

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

    I worked at Morningstar full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Great brand, generally nice people.

    Cons

    Product pipeline for new revenue sources is very dry. No real process for effective strategic planning or new product development. The have software, data and consulting. But...fundamentally they are a research company with a great brand. Therein lies the strength and most limiting self imposed weakness.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Great work/life balance, somewhat low salary.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Oakland, MD
    Current Employee - Operations Analyst in Oakland, MD

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

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I really enjoy working at Morningstar. This company provides an extremely laid-back atmosphere. The work/life balance is wonderful, and my typical workweek is 40-50 hours with a casual dress code, which is great. The work is interesting and recognition is provided by supervision. And the vacation, sabbatical, and health/401k benefits are very competitive and practical. Morningstar provides an opportunity to learn and grow; however,...

    Cons

    As a non-Chicago employee, I feel our growth opportunities are not as great. We have some opportunity for growth, but I feel that, as a world-wide company, any position should be available to any employee.

    The salaries are just okay. We do have a lot of added benefits, but money talks, and our salaries are definitely below industry averages for experience level. As a result, employee turnover is relatively high.

    Advice to Management

    Improve compensation and provide more growth opportunities for all employees. I know that better compensation will help motivate employees and retain talent.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Great Place to Learn

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Morningstar

    Pros

    The opportunity to learn, especially for entry level is great. People are very friendly and are very approachable. Work-life balance is definitely a perk.

    Cons

    I wouldn't say there are many cons. The only observation I have is that I did not see many development or promotion opportunities.


  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 (1)

    Hit the ground running, and impressive people!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Morningstar

    Pros

    Smart people dedicated to the mission. True commitment and collaboration. Felt immediately welcome and was able to add value immediately. Work load is not light, doing great things takes effort and the people at Morningstar that I have encountered are truly committed to improving what we do and innovating for the betterment of the company. Benefits are better than I have had before, very competitive and practical.

    Cons

    We want to do so much that we probably need to makes choices so our time is focused on high value activity.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing s great job communicating, and show empathy where we have high burn areas that need relief. Keep inspiring as you already do so well.


  10. 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!!!


  11. 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.



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