Morningstar COO Tao Huang to leave firm

By Zoe Galland
Posted Jan. 10 at 9:31 a.m.

Chicago-based mutual fund and stock research company Morningstar Inc. announced Monday that its chief operating officer, Tao Huang, will leave the firm at the end of January.

Morningstar, which is best known for its 5-star system of rating mutual funds, reported quarterly earnings below Wall Street estimates in October 2010, saying it had been hurt by higher expenses. The company also said it would pay a dividend for the first time.

Huang, 48, became Morningstar’s COO in 2001. He was featured in the “40 Under 40″ feature of Crain’s Chicago Business that year. “Mr. Huang, who already can claim credit for leading the business research company’s technology efforts and its push into international ventures, last fall got the job that will go a long way toward determining whether the privately held company can remain a player in the financial services industry: steering Morningstar to profitability even as it boosts its overseas operations and rolls out new services,” Crain’s wrote.

Morningstar’s chairman and chief executive Joe Mansueto said in a release that Huang “led the development of many of our major software offerings and played a lead role in growing our international business and making acquisitions. He’s an extremely talented person and a good friend.”

Morningstar said it does not plan to name a new chief operating officer.

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