Morningstar, Inc.

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This article is about the investment company. For the food company, see Morningstar Farms.
Morningstar, Inc.
Industry Investment Research, Investment Management
Founded 1984
Founder Joe Mansueto
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people
Joe Mansueto (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$760.1 million (2014)[1]
Increase US$105.6 million (2014)[1]
Increase US$78.3 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
3,830 (Sept. 30, 2015)[2]

Morningstar, Inc. is an investment research and investment management firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States.


Founder Joe Mansueto initially had the idea for Morningstar in 1982 while reviewing mutual fund annual reports he had requested from several prominent fund managers.[3] However, it was only after a year working as a stock analyst for Harris Associates, seeing the fund industry and potential competitors up close, that he was convinced that the opportunity was there.[3][4] Morningstar was subsequently founded in 1984 from his one-bedroom Chicago apartment with an initial investment of US$80,000.[5] The name Morningstar is taken from the last sentence in Walden, a book by Henry David Thoreau; "the sun is but a morning star".[5][6]

In July 1999 Morningstar accepted an investment of US$91 million from SoftBank in return for a 20% stake in the company. The two companies had the previous year formed a joint venture in Japan.[6][7]

Morningstar's initial public offering occurred on May 3, 2005, with 7,612,500 shares at $18.50 each.[8] The manner in which Morningstar went public is notable. They elected to follow Google's footsteps and use the OpenIPO method rather than the traditional method. This allowed individual investors to bid on the price of the stock, and allowed all investors equal access.

As of February 2015, Joe Mansueto owned approximately 55% of the outstanding shares in Morningstar.[9]


Morningstar provides data on more than 500,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 17 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $170 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2015. The company has operations in 27 countries.[1]

Morningstar created the Morningstar Rating™, Morningstar Analyst Rating™, Morningstar Style Box™, and other proprietary measures.

The Morningstar Investment Management group creates custom investment solutions that combine award-winning research and global resources with the proprietary data of Morningstar, Inc. (“Morningstar”). With more than $170 billion in assets under management and advisement, the group provides comprehensive retirement, investment advisory, and portfolio management services for financial institutions, plan sponsors, and advisors.

Corporate identity

Morningstar's current logo is notable in that it was designed by legendary graphic designer Paul Rand. Mansueto sought Rand out in 1989 after deciding that the company's design standards needed to be improved, and that the first step would be a redesign of its logo.[10] After several phone calls, letters and finally a trip to meet Rand in person, Mansueto convinced him to work on the logo, which was completed within four months.[10] The new design features the "o" in Morningstar appearing as a rising sun, which is a nod to the quote that inspired the company's name.[5] While the fee for this work ($50,000) was a significant amount at the time for the company, Mansueto considers it "one of our most valuable assets".[10]


Morningstar honors managers, funds, fund managers, and fund groups throughout the year with a series of awards known as The Morningstar Awards. To win, a nominee must have outperformed competition over one-, three-, and five-year periods.[11]

Fund Manager of the Year

Established in 1988, the Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year award recognizes portfolio managers who demonstrate excellent investment skill and the courage to differ from the consensus to benefit investors. To qualify for the award, managers’ funds must have not only posted impressive returns for the year, but the managers also must have a record of delivering outstanding long-term risk-adjusted performance and of aligning their interests with shareholders’. Nominated funds must be Morningstar Medalists—a fund that has garnered a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The Fund Manager of the Year award winners are chosen based on Morningstar's proprietary research and in-depth qualitative evaluation by its fund analysts. A full listing of past winners can be found on Morningstar's corporate website.

CEO of the Year

In the United States, Morningstar annually recognizes a chief executive who exhibits exemplary corporate stewardship, demonstrates independent thinking, creates lasting value for shareholders, and has put his or her stamp on an industry. Morningstar introduced its CEO of the Year award in January 2000. Winners are chosen by senior members of Morningstar’s equity analyst team based on their in-depth independent research. The 2013 recipient was E. Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway.[12] A full listing of past winners can be found on Morningstar's corporate website.[13]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  2. "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved Oct 21, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Everything I Know, I Learned from Warren Buffett, Corporate Culture Article – Inc. Article". Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  4. "Joe Mansueto and Bill Nygren: The Importance of Having Conviction". Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fetterman, Mindy (November 14, 2005). " – Can he turn magazine bust into a boom?". USA Today. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "A star is reborn after shake-up". USA Today. February 12, 2001. Retrieved May 21, 2007. 
  7. "Company News; Softbank says it will invest $91 million in Morningstar". The New York Times. July 9, 1999. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  8. "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  9. "MORN Insider Activity". Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Corporate Design Foundation – @issue journal". Retrieved May 21, 2007. 
  11. "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  12. "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  13. "Morningstar Press Release". Retrieved April 29, 2014. 

External links