18 AG states join Missouri survey of ESG rating firm Morningstar and its subsidiary Sustainalytics

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – Today, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that 18 other state attorneys general have joined Missouri’s investigation into the investment rating company ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance ) Morningstar Inc. and its subsidiary Sustainalytics for alleged consumer fraud or unfair trade. practices, the first survey of its kind.

“Following public reports of Morningstar’s alleged anti-Israel bias and concerns raised with my office, we have launched an investigation of Morningstar Inc. and Sustainalytics into potential consumer fraud issues. 18 attorneys general have now joined our investigation. These ESG investment firms play politics with the pensions and livelihoods of real people. Missouri has been a leader in the fight against woke ESG investing and our fight will continue,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

In late July, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office sent Civil Investigation Requests to Morningstar and Sustainalytics, both containing 43 inquiries regarding documents relating to Morningstar’s perceived anti-Israel bias in ESG rating products. such as the Sustainalytics “Human Rights Radar”, as well as documents relating to previous investigations into this bias by the law firm White & Case and the Illinois Investment Policy Board.

Some of the interrogations include:

  • Identify and provide all documents and communications relating to the March 16, 2021 statement, “Morningstar affirms the integrity of ESG research and ratings,” including all documents referenced in the statement and documents relating to your internal review.
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications with the Illinois Investment Policy Board regarding ESG or BDS services.
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications relating to changes to your ESG services regarding: (1) White & Case’s May 11, 2022 report, “Report of Independent Investigative Counsel Concerning Alleged Anti-Israel Bias in Morningstar, Inc. ESG Products and services” (“White & Case Report”); (2) Your June 2, 2022 statement, “A Letter from Joe Mansueto and Kunal Kapoor”; and/or (3) the June 22, 2022 meeting of the Illinois Board of Investment Policy Committee on Boycott Israel Restrictions.
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications with any federal government or state government entity regarding ESG and BDS services.
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications with third parties regarding concerns, complaints or criticisms regarding the ESG and BDS Services.
  • Identify and provide all documents that rank sources of information or assess their reliability for any of your ESG services, and identify and provide the “blacklist” and “watch list” of sources used by ESG researchers. incident team.
  • Identify and provide the Human Rights Radar Methodology Document, Process Map, Description of Standard Operating Procedures, and Analyst Guidance Document, including all draft, final, and updated versions of these.
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications related to the 2018 Global Standards Engagement Report and 2021 Update Report containing bespoke research on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict area.
  • Identify and provide any documents provided to or reviewed by White & Case in connection with the preparation of its May 11, 2022 report, “Report of Independent Investigative Counsel Concerning Alleged Anti-Israel Bias in Morningstar, Inc. ESG Products and Services” ( “White & Case Report”).
  • Identify and provide all documents and communications with clients attempting to dissuade them from doing business in and/or with Israel.
  • Provide all documents and communications between any GSE (Global Standards Engagement) mission leader and any person or entity relating to activities conducted in, with or in relation to the State of Israel, any Israeli-Palestinian conflict area and/or BDS.

More information will become available as this investigation progresses.

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