Don Phillips to Step Down as Head of Morningstar's Research Group

Phillips, who will stay on as a managing director, will be replaced by Haywood Kelly

Don Phillips will be stepping down as head of Morningstar’s Research group after the first of the year, the company announced Tuesday.

Haywood Kelly, currently head of equity, credit and structured credit research, will assume Phillips’ responsibilities as global head of research, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Phillips will remain a managing director as well a member of the board of directors, a position he’s held since 1999.

Both Kelly, 44, and Phillips, 51, will report to Joe Mansueto, Morningstar’s founder, chairman and CEO.

Phillips said in a statement that he’s “had a wonderfully rewarding career and believes passionately in Morningstar’s mission of helping investors.” Said Phillips: “I told Joe that I’d like to step back, but I still want to contribute to Morningstar’s success. He has always been incredibly supportive, and this time was no exception. Our global research team is second to none. Haywood has done a terrific job with our equity, corporate credit, and structured credit teams and has overseen our fund research in the past. He’s an excellent choice for this role, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him.”

Mansueto added in the same statement that “Don is a great friend and colleague. He joined Morningstar as our first mutual fund analyst in 1986, two years after I started the company. His passion for investing is the same today as it was 27 years ago.”

Added Mansueto: “Don has worked tirelessly over the years, traveling the world to serve as an advocate for investors and share our thought leadership, with the goal of helping them make better decisions. Don has built a strong research team, and feels the time is right to make this life transition. I’m thrilled that he will stay with the company and continue to work closely with Haywood, focusing on new research initiatives.”

Phillips joined Morningstar in 1986 and soon became editor of its flagship print publication, Morningstar Mutual Funds, establishing the editorial voice for which the company is best known. He helped to develop the Morningstar Style Box and the Morningstar Rating.

Kelly was named head of equity research in 1998, served as head of equity and fund research from 2000 to 2008, and became head of equity and credit research in 2009. He has also served as editor of Morningstar StockInvestor and interim president of Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC.

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