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Morningstar Reviews

Updated November 15, 2017
55 reviews

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Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor
19 Ratings

55 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The work-life balance at Morningstar is awesome (in 145 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Way too many people take advantage of "work/life balance" (in 14 reviews)

  • Some senior management guys can hardly communicate in fluent english (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "MDP: Only Accept The Offer If You Have Nowhere Else. Not For the Ambitious"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work-life balance - as long as your manager approves it, you can take off as much time as needed.

    Everyone in every department is happy to meet with you and give you advice.

    Colleagues are all incredibly intelligent.

    Higher than average salary compared to the rest of the customer service industry.

    Well known and looks great on the resume.

    Cons

    If you are interviewing for the MDP it shouldn't be a surprise that you are 100% going into customer service for a year, sometimes longer if you don't get the position you were initially going for or if it's not currently open to MDPs. Most second years immediately go into the data analyst position which is virtually the same as customer service, without the phone calls, and more flexibility in schedule.

    Many MDPs are dissatisfied with the program, and after a brief alleged scandal with the MDP staff, a surveyed showed more than 50% of MDPs are EXTREMELY dissatisfied, with minimal changes made after the results.

    Many enter the MDP as an easier method to get into the buy-side and/or sell-side departments of Morningstar. The fact is, unless your manager approves you applying, after your 1 year is up, and if the position is open during the time your manager approves of you applying, your likelihood is very slim until you “graduate” the program. At that point, you could have easily gotten the necessary experience at another firm that would translate well into the position; you will find a vast majority of analysts at Morningstar did not originate from the MDP.

    Lastly, there is a high turnover rate at Morningstar from people that become disillusioned or have easily found better positions that are substantially more satisfying, primarily from the MDP but many of those on the technical side as well.

    Morningstar recruits from many of the best schools in the nation that have the potential to outperform anywhere. If you plan to join Morningstar, plan the long-haul and a potentially stagnant career if you don't get a position on the career path you're looking for.

    I keep in contact with many former Morningstar employees: former MDPs, engineers, analysts, and we are all much happier leaving, in better positions (PMs, ER, IB, Consulting, M7 Grad School). So if you at least want a year of easy R&R before moving on, accept the position and if you're okay with brain-addling work, you'll have plenty of time to think and apply to positions that you believe befit you more.

    Advice to Management

    Hire significantly less MDPs and make it more prestigious like at Abbott, CME, and all the BB firms, same way it was pre-2011. Currently it's just cheap labor for your customer service department, relative to the work they do, with the rare occasion you let 1% into the more illustrious departments each year.


  2. Helpful (42)

    "Pinkerton hubbub casts shadow on Morningstar"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great research. What other company employs over a hundred financial analysts to get to the bottom of it all? Morningstar heartedly fulfills its mission to accurately report market opportunity (or lack thereof) despite where the chips may fall. The company founder, Joe Mansueto, is also a most benevolent soul. Wielding his 60% controlling interest during the financial crisis, Morningstar made the conscious decision to retain its employees despite significant drops in revenue due to a spiraling economy. Other executives that lost their jobs faced ruin, as employment was impossible to find. Thank you Joe.

    Cons

    While the research is top notch and the chairman’s penchant for kindness has helped many many people, Morningstar’s marketing department, led by CMO Rob Pinkerton, is a disaster. Freely admitted in a 2017 interview, the position of Chief Marketing Officer is Pinkerton’s first job in marketing. Like any amateur that poses as an expert, Rob Pinkerton sells himself with the acumen of a snake oil salesman. Look at how he describes his tenure at Hello Wallet in the same interview? Another failed Morningstar acquisition. Despite horrible engagement metrics, Pinkerton presents his pet programs as a grand success to senior management where he also promises golden pathways to younger audiences. Alas, he cites accomplishments – even on this job board – where half of those laurels belong to the Individual Investor team, a completely independent and autonomous group. Those achievements were well underway before Pinkerton arrived. Everyone knows this so-called CMO’s threadbare list of tactics lack revenue attribution and worse offer little engagement as proven by bounce rates and anemic form completes. He can’t even supervise the basics.

    My fear is that senior management actually believes Pinkerton’s mad schemes of a future millennial customer base, when Morningstar’s true north are mature investors. One of the most common mistakes an amateur marketer makes is a cavalier assessment of a brand’s ability to jump the line. Usually, it can’t. Microsoft’s Sataya Nadella says it best:

    Ryssdal: What's the last semi-significant mistake you made?

    Nadella: I would say the realization that in many cases, customers have already chosen to work with you and yet you consciously, or unconsciously, abandon them to go work off on the new shiny object is a mistake I've made recently and in the past. And every time I made the mistake, the good part was I've been able to recognize it fast enough. It's tempting in tech to sometimes move on to the next thing.

    The saddest part about all of this is that Morningstar’s mission really isn’t rocket science – that is, leveraging a vast army of brand loyalists into a billion dollars. Alas, Pinkerton won’t do it because he can’t do it. What he can do is drive a 60% turnover rate in the marketing department over three years. If you're forty or older @ Morningstar, I suggest you start to look for new employment. The man likes em young.

    Cataloging Rob Pinkerton’s millennial obsession:

    “Born with smart phones in their hands, millennials are natural digital marketers.”

    “I want to pack the stage with millennials.”

    “I’m not interested in your (non-millennial) opinion on the meeting, I want to hear what the millennials think.”

    “I observed a focus group with millennials who were eager to learn to invest.”

    Good god. Who talks like that to a work force? Through an inevitable, desperate response, Pinkerton will deny or spin everything here, except the truth of his behavior firmly exists in Morningstar’s public discourse with new witnesses born everyday.

  3. Helpful (9)

    "LDP is just a fancy name for a CALL CENTER JOB"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Morningstar full-time

    Pros

    No pros, horrible company, selling lies and breaking people's dreams and offering low pay. couldve made more money driving uber

    Cons

    get people off the phone and give them some real work. understand that employees arent your servants and start leveraging their brains and stop lying about what your program is. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND STAY away from this company

    Morningstar Response

    Nov 13, 2017 – CHRO

    Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry you didn’t find our program to match your goals and expectations. I’d be very interested to hear more and discuss with you if you’d like to reach out to me... More


  4. Helpful (30)

    "Irrevocable Damage"

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

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

    Pros

    Good location, there's some bright spots left based on some positive reviews left on here... still hopeful company will find itself and go back to its roots. People generally mean well.

    Cons

    Where to start...what once was a thriving culture of collaborative minds has now turned into a toxic environment full of bullies. The leadership is incapable of bringing people together and fostering an environment where people feel valued and are able to do their best work. Morningstar's culture used to be what attracted high caliber talent to its doors and employees would look past the below market pay because they truly felt happy and proud to work here. The caliber of technologists used to be on par with Silicon Valley, you used to leave inspired. Now people can't wait to get out. All the great technologists have left and the remaining are folks that are good talkers. As a result, the company fails to execute and products never get off the ground. The high turnover particularly in the tech org and the new "C" level leadership that were promoted from failed acquisitions have done irrevocable damage to this company. I still hope that one day Kunal and Joe finally wakes up and make some changes.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people. Go back to what made Morningstar great and stop promoting incapable leaders from failed acquisitions.

    Morningstar Response

    Oct 13, 2017 – Chief Technology Officer

    This must be Bash the CTO month. As you know from what I've said, culture is perhaps the most important aspect of any organization. A culture built on trust, transparency, and accountability is what... More


  5. Helpful (22)

    "Good days are gone..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Software Developer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some pockets of good people who is not able to jump ship yet.
    Some benefits a bit better but diminished in value over years.
    Nothing else is good.

    Cons

    Where to start?

    Management is complete crap, all levels, most of departments, selfish, ego centric, narcissist, king of a hill mentality prevail over anything else.

    No strategy, expensive and failed acquisitions, with more to come.

    Change of leadership at very top is a big mistake, causing huge shift in culture to worst, instances of people being fired on spot, pushed out and similar.

    Promotion of completely incompetent people, generally to get promoted you just have to open mouth “right” way, you get an idea.

    Great people already left or leaving soon.

    Please please avoid, or if you have to take a job, keep looking, you will thank me later.

    Advice to Management

    If your target is to ruin MORNINGSTAR, keep doing what you are doing, perfect trajectory for that. So sad to see it.


  6. Helpful (15)

    "ho ho, that CTO has to go...."

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The darkest time in Morningstar technology history

    Cons

    Since beginning, many employees were suspicious about CTO Mitch Shue's promotion. Now time has proved that the doubt is true. Enough trouble has been done.
    . A CTO who has no solid technical background.
    . A CTO knows only talk can solve all the problem.
    . A CTO never checked out a line of our github, either front end, or back end, or anything. A CTO who knows nothing about Git maybe.
    . Promoted many unqualified managers, who made us into big trouble.
    . Let go many good people, who are good at technical, but may not as good as good talker.

    Please stop being here just as a face and collect paycheck. Enough harm is done to us.

    Advice to Management

    you heard enough, do something.

    Morningstar Response

    Oct 11, 2017 – Chief Technology Officer

    Wow! That is a harsh review. I'm sorry you feel that way. You mentioned me by name, so I feel especially compelled to respond. Please come talk to me about technology sometime. I have a long... More


  7. Helpful (36)

    "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.

    Morningstar Response

    Sep 29, 2017 – CMO

    Ouch. Tell me how you really feel about me! I hope once your feelings toward me fade, you remember fondly the mission and collaborative people you mention. On your specific criticisms, regardless... More

  8. Helpful (30)

    "MOURNing-Star"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Morningstar full-time

    Pros

    Good work/life balance. They have great medical benefits (company pays a decent amount out of pocket)

    Cons

    I'm mourning the old days of Morningstar past when the culture only allowed for the hiring of employees that fit in to a laid back, professional, collaborative and respectful environment. My opinions and examples are tied to the marketing department. There has been a tremendous amount of turnover in the marketing group in the past 3 years. The other Glassdoor reviews have responses state that there has been a 15.2% turnover in the past year but does not reference the 3 year timeframe where the percentage seems much higher. There are also remarks that the reason marketers are leaving is because they can't keep up in the "transformative and modern marketing" organization that has been created and became so overwhelmed that they decided to leave where life would be easier for a simpleton. On a sale of 1-10 the marketing sophistication and platforms (in my opinion) are about a 2-2.5 based on other marketing organizations I've worked at over 10 years ago and compared to other companies in the Chicago area. The reason there is high turnover is because the marketers in Chicago are looked at and treated as if they are technically inept and spoken down to in a condescending manner. In addition, there is lack of leadership across the group who don't seem to understand the current employees roles and how to best utilize their background or skills set. There is also a lack of resources, transparency with goals and budget prioritization, training within this group. Lastly, the base salary tends to be lower compared to other marketing organizations which would be acceptable if the previous culture was still intact.

    Advice to Management

    I guarantee the response to this will be another spin about how someone like myself couldn't keep up in a modern marketing organization and it will be dismissed and fall on deaf ears. Stay clear unless you have a trust fund to fall back on. My recommendation to management is that HR jump in and handle the issues within this group (look for patterns) as they're losing a ton of really talented marker's who used to care a great deal about the company and it's old culture.

    Morningstar Response

    Sep 29, 2017 – CMO

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to address something I feel passionately about. It sounds like you worked at Morningstar for quite awhile and that you cared deeply about the firm. I respect... More


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Poor Human Resource Team & Bad Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good Summer parties
    Some Good Senior Tech people

    Cons

    - Bad MDP Program
    - No accountability
    - No Appreciation
    - They want a Java Programmer - to do every task - learn visual basic, learn python, learn Java script, that too within a day!!
    - Poor technologies are used - they are still working without frameworks!
    - No api standards
    - old technology stack
    - Not a good place for college students - No learning environment
    - Only Maintenance projects for MDPs. If you are really interested in Development, this place is not for you.
    - they say unlimited PTO, but they do count them. You will not get more than 10 working days

    Advice to Management

    - Improve on Technologies


  10. Helpful (32)

    "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


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