March 13, 2020

Has the company had any impacts with respect to the Coronavirus?

From an employee perspective we have not received any reports of confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus among Morningstar employees. We have been closely monitoring the outbreak and continue to follow guidance from national and local governments, as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the situation evolves, our first priority remains the health and safety of our team members. We have issued guidelines to all employees regarding travel, remote work preparedness, hygiene, and overall vigilance. For those employees that live and work in higher risk areas, we’ve implemented remote work plans, as the nature of our business allows for workplace flexibility through telecommuting tools. Our most impacted location from this perspective thus far has been Shenzhen, China, where our teams have successfully worked through this tough period with minimal business impact. 

We are also doubling down on our mission of empowering investors during this period of uncertainty. Our research team has been at the forefront of helping investors make sound long-term decisions, and we’ve stepped up the cadence and frequency with which we’re publishing our thought leadership at this time. Additionally, while customer service teams have reported above-average engagement with clients, we have handled the increased volume appropriately. 

Finally, on the business front, weak global equity market performance in the past month will likely impact asset-based revenue growth and prolong the sales cycle in some of our license-based areas. While we have not seen a material impact to our credit ratings business yet, we anticipate that market volatility will also lead to a preference for higher credit qualities and liquidity over the issuance of more esoteric structured finance products. Importantly, we are monitoring the business and potential impacts closely and will be thoughtful on discretionary costs or other mitigants as needed. We are confident in our overall business resiliency over economic and market cycles. 

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