Morningstar reduced net headcount again in Q4 2023. Around what areas of the business were these efficiencies focused? Do you expect to start adding net headcount again from Q1 2024 as you invest for growth? Also, what level of upward pressure are you seeing on the underlying expenses base (e.g. is it 3-5% annually)?

May 9, 2024

In the second and third quarters of 2023, we engaged in targeted reorganizations in certain parts of the business, including Morningstar Sustainalytics, Morningstar Wealth, and Morningstar DBRS. At the same time, we kept a tight lid on hiring. These efforts resulted in the decline you saw in headcount in Q4 23 and Q1 24. We continue to be prudent in hiring and remain focused on driving efficiency and productivity while ensuring we can support our sales and marketing efforts. In terms of cost pressures, inflation and the job market have cooled off relative to pandemic highs, but pressures remain on both fronts in different geographies.

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