As a result of sustained advocacy over the past year by Jewish Federations and a consortium of Jewish and pro-Israel groups, Chicago-based financial services giant Morningstar has removed unfair controversy ratings from over 100 firms operating in or doing business with Israel.
“After months of negotiations and discussions with Morningstar about its assumptions, sources, and language, we appreciate that a significant number of companies unfairly rated for their work with Israel have had these black marks lifted,” said Elana Broitman, Jewish Federations’ senior vice president for public affairs. “Our work is not yet done, however, and we look forward to further progress and Morningstar’s selection of experts to advise on these matters.”
At the beginning of the engagement, Morningstar’s Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) subsidiary Sustainalytics had classified the activities of approximately 109 Israeli companies and companies that do business with Israel as controversial.
That number fell to 26 in recent months and in the last week, dropped to just 7 companies (including 2 subsidiaries), a 94% drop.
While this is a tremendous step forward, Federations and the consortium will continue to press Morningstar to fulfill its commitment to hire independent experts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to ensure that any remaining bias is removed both from its current company reviews and in any future reviews of companies’ human rights record.
The coalition engaging with Morningstar includes a number of Jewish and pro-Israel group, key among which are the Jewish United Fund (Chicago’s Jewish Federation), the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.