Kunal Kapoor

Kunal Kapoor

CEO, Morningstar Inc.

“We have ‘a true north’ and we follow it,” said Kunal Kapoor, chief executive of Morningstar Inc., discussing the importance of company culture in the firm’s success.

He cites a research-based culture that encourages openness. Employees are taught to think independently, in an investor-first way, and are supported in that independence. It is this environment that affords employees the freedom to express their professional opinions, he said.

In the CEO’s chair since February 2017, Mr. Kapoor has been with Morningstar for more than 20 years, having entered straight from college. He has held a number of leadership roles within the firm, in areas such as mutual fund research, international operations and investment services.

“My career has mimicked Morningstar’s growth,” he said.

The two main focus areas of Morningstar are data-and-research dissemination supporting do-it-yourselfers, and outsourced services for advisers, such as managed portfolios.

Looking forward, he sees more innovation within the company relating to data and research. For example, a greater personalization of data, and further transparency and efficiency. He also envisions Morningstar focusing more heavily in environmental, social and governance investing. In fact, the firm recently introduced carbon ratings that evaluate portfolio exposure to carbon risk.

With a long-standing interest in financial behavior, Mr. Kapoor looks closely at “how to bridge the gap between what investors expect and the experience they end up having.” He foresees the firm's continuation to build on goals-based investing with a “behavioral nudge.”

In addition to his diverse experiences within Morningstar, he draws on his personal experience as a native of India.

“One of the best things about being an immigrant is [having] the multiple experiences I can weave together,” he said.

– Deborah Nason


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