Published September 06, 2016

New CEO

Monmouth graduate Kapoor named chief executive officer of Morningstar
  • Kunal Kapoor, a 1997 Monmouth College graduate, has been named chief executive officer of Morningstar Inc.
Kunal Kapoor, a 1997 Monmouth College graduate, has been named chief executive officer of Morningstar Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research. His move from president of the company to CEO will become effective Jan. 1.

“I can’t think of a better person than Kunal to lead Morningstar,” said company founder Joe Mansueto in a news release issued by Morningstar. “He’s a Morningstar veteran who lives and breathes our mission of creating great products that help investors reach their financial goals. He has a breadth of experience across nearly every area of Morningstar – including research, data and software products and investment management.

A native of India, Kapoor majored in economics and environmental policy at Monmouth and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

“Kunal has a unique ability to bring people together to help solve problems for investors, and I’m confident that his energy and management talent will help us drive operational excellence and future growth,” Manseuto said.

“I’m incredibly honored and excited to lead Morningstar as we head into our next stage of innovation and growth,” Kapoor said in the release. “Morningstar’s market position and strategy are compelling, differentiated and impactful to the lives of millions of investors globally. We have a unique opportunity to leverage our capabilities in research, data and software to solve problems for investors.”

A leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Morningstar offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisers, asset managers and retirement plan providers and sponsors. It also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $185 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30.

“We’ll continue to invest in our workforce, expand our core strengths in design and technology, and build on our strong position in the industry,” added Kapoor. “I’m committed to aligning our operations to accelerate innovation, focus on execution, and drive long-term results for our stakeholders.”

Asked recently what innovations within the company have Kapoor’s personal stamp, he replied: “At Morningstar, nothing happens because of one person. For example, when I first started, Morningstar was Chicago-centric with its employee base, and revenue was almost exclusively from the U.S. Now, we’re a global firm, with approximately 25 percent of revenue coming from outside the U.S. I’ve had a hand in helping the firm grow in that fashion, but by no means is it an individual effort.”

Kapoor has held a number of leadership roles since joining Morningstar in 1997, including director of mutual fund analysis, director of business strategy for international operations, president and chief investment officer of Morningstar Investment Services, and head of Morningstar.com and the firm’s data business.

“The heart and soul of Morningstar is our research and data, and I spent many years on the research side,” he said recently. “I like to say ‘once an analyst, always an analyst,’ so another area where I’ve been able to make a difference is taking those concepts that our analysts are tinkering with and helping to bring them to light in our data and research products.”

In his acceptance speech for Monmouth College’s 2005 Young Alumnus Award, Kapoor said, “Monmouth holds a very dear place in my heart.”

He also said that his achievements were a “testament to the fine work that the faculty does.”

“I attended the University of Chicago’s school of business, which is known for having a world-class faculty, and I believe that Monmouth’s faculty compares favorably any day. … It really pleases me to know I’ve done right by them,” he said.

Shortly after being named Morningstar’s president a year ago, Kapoor said: “My close student-mentor relationships with a number of Monmouth professors have persisted. I still call them to bounce ideas off of them, and there have been many fantastic opportunities to engage with them over the years.”

As a Monmouth student, Kapoor was named Senior Man of the Year by the Blue Key honor society. He was also involved with the Mortar Board honor society, the International Club, Sigma Omicron Mu and WMCR radio, and he served as a head resident of a dormitory.

His experiences inside and outside the classroom contributed to an element that is nearly as important to him as the relationships he formed at Monmouth.

“Something that is greatly undervalued in the job market – and it’s a difficult skill to measure – is critical thinking,” Kapoor said. “I learned critical thinking skills in spades at Monmouth. When you think about going to business school or learning the trade, everyone does the same case studies. But it’s how you apply those lessons and what you do with the knowledge that’s really important – maybe solving the issue in a different way or coming up with a unique approach.”
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