Joe Mansueto

Joe Mansueto

Founder and CEO, Morningstar Inc.

As a young stock analyst, Joe Mansueto realized people were making bad decisions when choosing mutual funds, and he wanted to do something about it.

Seeing the types of in-depth information he had at his disposal, he was inspired to bring resources of the same rigor to individual investors. The result was Morningstar Inc.

Since 1984, Mr. Mansueto, founder and CEO, has led his firm as it became one of the most important information sources in the industry.

He summarized the company’s major innovations:

1. Pioneering the practice of mutual fund analysts calling companies.

2. Using research and technology to distill information and remove the complexity from the investment industry.

3. Using visual design to convey data and text with an emphasis on information hierarchy.

The company’s influence is pervasive.

“Funds are flowing to better-managed, better-performing funds, and ones with lower fees, because we’re shining a light on them and educating investors,” Mr. Mansueto, 60, said. “Through our ratings, we are part of the invisible hand of capitalism.”

Frequently cited as a best place to work, there’s a Midwestern ethic infused in Morningstar, he said.

“Our values are based on honesty, fairness and treating people well,” said Mr. Mansueto, an Indiana native. “There’s a welcoming attitude that influences the culture and a trust infused in the organization.”

Acknowledging the firm’s many accolades, he prefers to share the spotlight with his employees.

“Business is a team effort. Sometimes I think I get too much credit. Leaders’ roles are often overstated.”

– Deborah Nason