Karen Andersen ’05

Karen Andersen is a senior stock analyst at Morningstar in Chicago, specializing in the biotech industry. She joined Morningstar more than seven years ago, beginning as an equity analyst after graduating from the Jones School in 2005 with the distinction of Jones Scholar. As an analyst, Karen has been quoted in numerous publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch.

Ms. Andersen graduated magna cum laude from Rice with a B.A. in biochemistry in 2000 and initially stayed in the realm of scientific research. She gained experience in academia during her undergraduate education, as well as during an internship at the University of Queensland in Australia. She established a view of life in the industry, performing research at Lexicon Genetics (now Lexicon Pharmaceuticals) in the Woodlands after graduation. While at Lexicon, Karen developed a strong interest in combining her interest in the business strategy and financial performance of biotech companies with her biochemistry education and experience.

“Attending the Jones School gave me the financial modeling and accounting background necessary to perform a valuation analysis. The lessons I learned from James Weston and Karen Nelson were invaluable in that regard. However, it was the hands-on experience as senior health care analyst for the MA Wright Fund, led by Jill Foote, that really gave me the ability to bring all of the skills I learned together.”

Karen credits her early interest in pursuing her CFA designation, and the CFA Society of Houston, with helping to tailor her experience for equity research. After her MBA, Karen completed her CFA testing requirements, and she became a CFA charterholder in 2009.

She currently lives in Chicago with her husband, Alex Hlavacek, and their daughter Hanna, 18 months. When she's not valuing biotechs, she spends her time working on a novel, rowing, and seeing Chicago's museums and parks through the eyes of a toddler.