Morningstar Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

Morningstar Chicago Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
261 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

3.5
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Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor
30 Ratings

261 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • I love the fact that a work/life balance is always pushed and we are encouraged to take time as needed (in 136 reviews)

  • Casual work environment, generous benefits (in 73 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Project Manager - Agile"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Technical Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great place to work. You are always learning and collaborating with smart coworkers. Good work life balance, great culture and benefits

    Cons

    Middle management needs improvement. Salary is not up to the market rate.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "VP Institutional Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Vice President Institutional Sales in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Vice President Institutional Sales in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work Life Balance, good culture overall. Good environment for those early in their careers. Process oriented which can be a benefit in non sales roles

    Cons

    Undefined Product Strategy Can be challenging to execute but it depends on department. Some are better than others. Turnover appeared to be high. Salaries could be more competitive

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Associate Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Morningstar offers a great work/life balance and excellent perks (unlimited PTO, flexible work environment, educational stipend, etc.) It's a relaxed corporate environment (leans more toward a start-up), so you won't find hyper-competitive, cut-throat people here. Most people who work here are smart and capable, but unfortunately the company doesn't pay well enough to keep its talent. Regardless, you'll find smart, driven people in every team.

    Cons

    No salary mobility, poor compensation, and poor middle-level management. Once Morningstar locks you in at a certain salary, it will be VERY difficult to move up a bracket if you are not in a sales-related role. Though company mobility is possible, do not expect to be paid considerably more even if you are taking a more difficult job.

    Middle-level management is very poor - essentially this is a group of people who have been here the longest and had to be promoted at some point. Their direction is unclear and they're the kind of people that leave you wondering how they ever got to their jobs

    Advice to Management

    Compensate employees fairly when they move into more difficult roles

    Don't let MDPs or new employees host exit interviews, new employee orientations, or other high-profile/important events. This makes everyone look bad, regardless of how professional the person may be. Show that you respect people who are leaving enough to give them an exit interview that makes them feel valued, rather than cast aside with a junior-level employee.

    Morningstar Response

    Aug 21, 2017 – CHRO

    Thanks for sharing the thoughtful and balanced feedback. I’m glad you recognize the many positive aspects of Morningstar, including our people and our workplace culture. I also think your criticisms... More


  4. "Morningstar Summer Internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - QA Management in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - QA Management in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Morningstar as an intern

    Pros

    Great program to start developing your professional career in the financial industry. A lot of exposure to Morningstar's current products and platforms and a good opportunity to work with different segments of the company. Morningstar has a great working culture and its products and services are constantly aligned with its core values.

    Cons

    There are no negative reviews for the program.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Hey, ho, the CMO has got to go!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Marketing in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Collaboration and good mission, nice people who are jumping ship.

    Cons

    Marketing department has turned nasty. Place talks a big tech game, does nothing. The Chief Marketing Officer, Rob Pinkerton, uses a bullying style that drives people away. For an example of this style, see his response to a Feb. 25 Glassdoor review.
    If you question him, you're a loser who wants, apparently, to go back to the stone age. BTW, he's like this in person, too... belittling.

    Advice to Management

    Admit the problem, make a change, pay your people. The turnover stats you quote here are pure fiction. Former employees talk. Consensus: dude's outta control. You have a problem: something's rotten at the top. Stemming the tide of departures is not rocket science. Sorry to call things out this way but you have to know, Morningstar.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Product Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Interesting work. Good People.

    Cons

    Lots of "Chiefs" and "Heads".

    Advice to Management

    Continue to simplify the business. Promote strong people from within.


  7. Helpful (23)

    "Chasing off institutional knowledge and outsourcing to china and India appears to be the new CEO's plan."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cheap health insurance and flexible working hours.
    Lip service to positive values
    Generally local offices have strong cultural values
    A CEO who has never worked at another company.

    Cons

    No appreciation for experience.
    No hierarchy
    No accountability.
    Lip service to ethics and doing right for investors.
    Offshoring of knowledge workers.
    Titles that hamper job searches and de-value the level of work performed.

    Advice to Management

    Notice that all of the most experienced worker bees are all leaving or pissed off. Stop assuming that 24 year olds with 2 years experience understand what 10 year vets with prior outside experience know.
    Keep key knowledge worker and compensate them competitively.
    Don't ask junior managers to write up processes to send the work of their entire teams overseas,while having their teams shrink through attrition. Don't expect the highest experienced non managers to be happy about doing the work they started at 10 years ago and be happy about it.
    Stop messing up benefits every year.
    Don't pretend we have a better work life balance for less pay, when we just have less pay and slightly better health benefits.
    Hold people accountable for failure, instead of promoting them.
    Stop laying off middle aged women saying their positions were eliminated, and sending a corporate announcement saying their work will now be handled by a team of 20-something men 10 minutes after their email is turned off.

    Morningstar Response

    Sep 18, 2017 – CEO

    Since you referenced me (“the new CEO”) in your comments, I wanted to respond to a few of your concerns. Clearly you're frustrated about a recent organizational change that impacted you in a personal... More

  8. Helpful (3)

    "SVP"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great place for young professionals to develop and learn. Good benefits. Flagship offerings such as Direct and Office are good. Investment Management offerings are well managed. Great Mission Statement.

    Cons

    Upside can be limited. Short term oriented at times which could hurt the company in the long run.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes you need to take a step back to take several steps forward. Never forget the mission statement and keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Life as a technologist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Engineering Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    In the 5+ years I've worked at Morningstar, I've had the opportunity to work with great people in different tech roles across the company. I've had a lot of fun and experienced many challenges. To be successful at Morningstar, you need to be focused on solving problems (strategy through execution...not just ideas) that deliver value (revenue or cost savings).

    It's up to you...If you are comfortable putting yourself in a position to innovate you will be rewarded. As a 30+ year old company, Morningstar cannot rest on it's brand name only. In the last year we have made decisions to simplify and modernize our approach to building applications by providing development teams with a 'paved road' approach that allows each team to leverage tech that is best suited their needs and puts the power of decision back into the hands of developers.

    Our tech...The migration from our on-prem data centers to amazon web services is certain to be a challenge, but brings a great deal of opportunity for people looking to work on the latest technology. People are willing to help each other and if you present a business case for change that drives value (revenue or cost savings) you are almost always rewarded. We have multiple products lines that rely on various technologies, there can be challenges getting synced across teams, but also give you the opportunity to work on the tech of you choice (and change the tech you work on regularly…if that’s what you want).

    Leadership will listen....Provided you are engaged/willing to tackle an issue. Staring with the CTO, each head of technology has an open door policy. If you are interested in contributing immediately and are willing to reach out and get involved with solving problems, this is a great place to work. If you're looking for someone to guess and cater to your needs, you're going to have a tough time.

    A few other notes...
    * heavy emphasis on internal promotion, people are hired from the outside, but there is a generous amount of growth internally
    * work/life balance is as good as it gets
    * extremely respectful work environment -- in a world where headlines in tech revolve around the need for change, Morningstar should be looked to as the gold standard for the progressive, respectful workplace
    * employees extremely willing to help one another
    * it goes without saying but, unlimited PTO is great as is the 6-week paid sabbatical every 4-years

    Cons

    Change part 1...There's no way around it, from the end of 2015 through early 2017, change has been constant and rough. Different direction from multiple leaders in the business have been difficult to consume and has caused stress and confusion amongst engineers. Are we working on the right thing? What's our priority today? As a technologist, you really need to be committed to working through issues and understanding the needs of the business.

    Change part 2...The entire technology leadership team has turned over since the end of 2015. The 1st half of 2016 was especially rough when there wasn't clear leadership/vision across the tech org. With the appointment of the new CTO in late 2016, things have stabilized significantly and we have a clear direction with an increased alignment with product leadership.

    Change part 3...We still continue to lose very talented technologists. The tech market is very strong and we have lost several key people to other opportunities. On the upside, for those who stay, there is an opportunity for promotion and the people who have left typically do so for VP or C-level roles.

    Compensation...We have work to do on our compensation program. To be rewarded, you need to produce, then ask to be rewarded...in most cases ask multiple times. There is the sense that you need to go out and get an offer in order to prove your market value.

    Advice to Management

    *Understand there has been enough change...let there be time for implementation.

    *Focus on investing in your key initiatives, while budgeting for innovation.

    *Proactively update compensation metrics for technologists, understand true market value. A lot of companies have progressive cultures, work/life balance initiatives, unlimited PTO. This can no longer replace base compensation.

    Morningstar Response

    Jul 16, 2017 – Chief Technology Officer

    Thank you for your balanced and thoughtful review. I sincerely appreciate the time and energy you put into providing this feedback. It's hugely useful to me and to readers interested in finding out... More


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Your mileage may vary - need to allow WFH"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Friendly people, nice location in downtown Chicago, if you get a good manager you are set. The development organization is not really that young here, so if you are an older person it can be very comfortable. Rarely expected to work OT.

    Cons

    1) Old software architecture - it's like pulling teeth to try to get some unit tests written; 2) Inconsistent processes across and within groups - in my group, development is sort of Agile, business is still waterfall - bad mix; 3) Too much outsourcing oversees, so collaborative development is impossible; 4) Not allowed to work from home regularly.

    Advice to Management

    1) Allow working from home regularly, there is no reason to force me into 3 hours of commuting; 2) Either go Agile or don't - half way is a bad mix that is very stressful; 3) Hire more local developers - it is impossible to do collaborative development with people 13 hours away.


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