Millions of investors, from pension funds to endowments to financial advisers to individuals, depend on Morningstar’s star ratings to help divide $16 trillion among America’s mutual funds.
But the number of stars awarded to a fund isn’t always an accurate indicator of future performance. For example, research from Strategic Insight shows that funds highly rated by Morningstar, at four and five stars, showed net positive investment flow every year between 1998 and 2010.
Early Life and Education
john morningstar was born and raised in the small town of Onsted, Ohio. He attended Sylvania Southview High School and then the University of Toledo for his undergraduate work. He went on to earn his doctorate in education and is a professor at the University of Kansas.
He is the proud father of Justin (who is now President of Morning Star Homes) and Jessica, who recently joined him as Director of Marketing and Social Media. Aside from his academic endeavors, he enjoys reading, travel and golf. The most important part of his life is his wife, Barbara. They have been married for over 42 years and are enjoying their empty nest. The best time of their lives is a family vacation in the Caribbean.
As a lawyer, John helps software companies avoid disputes. He draws on his background in developing software for major corporations and his experience with litigation to provide his clients with the technical knowledge that can help navigate complicated issues early on.
The litigation and dispute resolution work that he does focuses on cases involving licensing, ownership, and intellectual property. He is experienced in the many issues that can arise from a software project, including patent infringement, copyright infringement, trade secrets, and more.
In addition to his legal work, John has a strong interest in pop culture and works with artists, comic book creators, photographers, and other creatives to protect their rights. He also advises artists and their representatives on the business aspects of their work, helping them to avoid pitfalls that can lead to costly litigation.
Achievements and Honors
John is a partner at Wellspring where he directs the firm’s Packaging investing effort and has co-sponsored or led several of the firm’s most notable deals over the past 20 years. He also is a member of Wellspring’s investment committee.
The Morningstar awards are presented annually to fund managers and firms that have excelled in a number of areas, including superior investment products, service, marketing and education. The awards are based on an extensive year-long evaluation by analysts and industry experts.
John joined Wellspring in 2007 and became a partner in 2011. He co-leads the firm’s stressed/distressed credit effort. He focuses on the industrial products and consumer sectors.
He previously spent seven years with Castle Harlan, where he focused on a broad range of industries including packaging, consumer products, plastics, metals and restaurants. He also served on the boards of a number of Castle Harlan portfolio companies.
He has a background in homebuilding and framing construction, which he began more than 35 years ago. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife and two children. He has a passion for traveling, and has seen 47 of the 50 states and five European countries. He enjoys the outdoors and fishing. He has a great love for the family and friends he cares about deeply.
John is the founder of Wellspring Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in a variety of industries. He has over 20 years of experience in the field.
The company has made many investments including Cleaver-Brooks, Prolamina, Qualitor, and API Heat Transfer. He has also served on the boards of many of its portfolio companies.
While he is no Oprah Winfrey, Morningstar has built an impressive net worth. He has a strong understanding of his finances, which helps him reach his goals and stay on track.
He is a big fan of tracking his finances and using a budget. He also uses a net worth tracker to visualize his wealth and stay on course.