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Morningstar, Inc

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Morningstar, Inc

Morningstar, Inc.
Traded as MORN
Industry Investment Research
Founded 1984
Founder(s) Joe Mansueto
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people Joe Mansueto (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$658.3 million (2012)[1]
Operating income Increase US$150.7 million (2012)[1]
Net income Increase US$102.9 million (2012)[1]
Employees 3,425 (2013)[2]

Morningstar, Inc. is an investment research 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 December 2008 Joe Mansueto owned approximately 57% of the outstanding shares in Morningstar.[9]


Morningstar provides data on approximately 433,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on nearly 10 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 advisor subsidiaries and has approximately $166 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.[10]

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


Since 2003 Morningstar has undertaken several corporate acquisitions.

Asset Acquired Acquired From Date Announced Date Completed Reported Cost, Inc Privately Held May 30, 2003[11] July 2, 2003[12] Not Disclosed
ePiper Separate Account Database Pensions & Investments September 7, 2004[13] Not Disclosed Not Disclosed
VARDS Finetre Corporation January 11, 2005[14] January 4, 2005[14] US$9 million
Ibbotson Associates Privately Held December 12, 2005[15] March 1, 2006[16] US$83 million
Aspect Huntley Privately Held July 2, 2006[17] July 25, 2006[18] A$30 million
Institutional Hedge Fund & Separate Account Database Division InvestorForce, Inc. July 17, 2006[19] August 1, 2006[20] US$10 million
Fund Data Business (prev. Micropal & Assirt) Standard & Poor's February 22, 2007[21]


March 16, 2007[23]


US$55 million
Hemscott data, media & investor relations businesses Ipreo Holdings LLC December 17, 2007[25] January 9, 2008[26] US$51.3 million [27]
Financial Computer Support, Inc., provider of practice management software for independent advisors Privately Held August 11, 2008[28] September 2, 2008[29] US$4.9 million [27]
Fundamental Data Limited, provider of data on closed-end funds in the United Kingdom Privately Held October 2, 2008[30] October 2, 2008[30] US$18.6 million [27]
10-K Wizard, SEC EDGAR filing research company 10-K Wizard December 4, 2008[31] December 4, 2008[31] US$11.5 million [27]
Tenfore Systems Limited, global provider of real-time market data and financial data workstations based in the United Kingdom Was owned by private investment group December 17, 2008[32] December 17, 2008[32] US$19.2 million [27]
InvestData (Proprietary) Limited business operations, provider of fund information in South Africa Not disclosed November 21, 2008[33] December 29, 2008[34] Not disclosed
Logical Information Machines, Inc., providing market pricing data, securities reference data, historical event data, predictive analytics, and advanced data management solutions Privately held December 11, 2009[35] December 31, 2009[36] US$51.5 million [37]
Footnoted business of Financial Fine Print, Inc., unearths critical investor information buried in the fine print of public companies' SEC filings Privately held February 9, 2010[38] February 9, 2010 [38] (Financial Fineprint took over business Sept. 4, 2012) [39] Not disclosed [38]
Aegis Equities Research, leading provider of equities research in Australia Aegis Equities Holdings Pty Ltd. March 24, 2010[40] April 1, 2010 [41] Not disclosed [40]
Realpoint, LLC, a Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organization (NRSRO) Privately held March 19, 2010[42] May 3, 2010 [43] US$52 million [42]
Old Broad Street Research Ltd. (OBSR), provider of fund research, ratings and investment consulting services in the United Kingdom Privately held April 12, 2010[44] April 12, 2010 [44] US$18.3 million [44]
Seeds Group, provider of investment consulting services and fund research in France Privately held May 17, 2010[45] July 1, 2010 [46] Not disclosed [45]
Annuity intelligence business of Advanced Sales and Marketing Corp. (ASMC), producers of The Annuity Intelligence Report Privately held October 21, 2010[47] November 1, 2010 [48] US$14.1 million [47]

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.[49] 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.[49] 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".[49]


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. [50]

CEO of the Year

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 2012 recipient was Pete Miller, CEO of National Oilwell Varco, Inc..[51] A full listing of past winners can be found on the Morningstar website.[52]

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’. Awards are given managers based upon their types of strategic approach to sectors of funds such as domestic stock, international stock, and fixed income. A full listing of past winners can be found on the Morningstar website.[53]

See also


External links

  • Official website
  • Corporate website
  • Understanding the Morningstar Rating and Fund Analyst Picks (from
  • Don Phillips Senate Testimony
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