I was first introduced to Morningstar 12 years ago when I was in executive search. They were then located in a bright, airy loft-like space on Franklin & Wacker. Impressed with the structure of the company, I knew it was something special and it would do very well. I was struck by the openness of the not only the work environment, but the employees that worked at this firm.
Founded by then 27-year old Joe Mansueto in 1984, Morningstar was created to offer transparency to mutual funds. What impressed me most about this firm was their understanding and support of their employees, offering a 6-week sabbatical after 4-years of employment and no cap on sick days or vacation time. It is still the case even after the firm went public, in 2005. Though many do not take the sabbatical per se, they know they can if they need to.
This is the same for doctor's appointments, funerals, or visiting your ill parents, it is all accepted here and encouraged. Morningstar believes that their employees should take the time they need to deal with their personal lives appropriately. Morningstar spends time and money training their employees and selects only the best from recent college grads for their 2-year training program called the Morningstar Development Program (
I met with Bevin Desmond, President of International Operations & Global HR to talk to her about the firm. Bevin was one of three employees that started the company's international business in the late 1990's. She has been with Morningstar since 1993, where she has held a number of positions, including President of Institutional software. She just took a short sabbatical of her own for the care of her 11 month-old triplets! Her husband also works at the firm who she met at the company, which makes it convenient for their lives.
Bevin says, "Employees have the job freedom to take consensual time off. If they are sick, we tell them to stay home. The employees feel responsible for what they do. They are self-directive. We believe in an atmosphere of respect." She says that part of their success with retaining their employees is to hire the right people for the company culture. They spend a lot of time and resources in hiring.
Currently, Morningstar has approximately 3,225 employees worldwide with operation in 26 countries.
They interview hundreds of college students on campus at the various locations, selecting about 100 to come interview at Morningstar corporate where they mingle with other job candidates and Morningstar employees, over dinner and lunch. Generally, 50-60 recent grads are hired from this group as a
Morningstar also has a few dozen job openings for experienced workers which are listed on their web-site. It also encourages current workers to apply for open positions which are typically in their sales, marketing, finance, research and technology areas. It is also easy to transfer to other locations, if there is an opening. They offer a good healthcare package and have a tuition reimbursement program for an MBA, and offer an educational stipend for classes or books.
The Morningstar headquarters, located on
For more information on open positions at Morningstar or more information check out their web-site at http://global.morningstar.com.