West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore today joined a coalition of State Treasurers, Auditors and Financial Officers to urge financial research firm Morningstar, Inc. to terminate any anti-Israel activities being conducted by its subsidiary Sustainalytics.
“Israel is America’s strongest ally and a beacon for democracy in the Middle East,” Treasurer Moore said. “We are deeply disturbed by reports that Sustainalytics is negatively rating firms with business ties to Israel and urge Morningstar to take immediate action to stop this damaging behavior.”
Treasurer Moore joined a multi-state coalition of 18 State Treasurers, Auditors and Financial Officers in sending a letter to Morningstar expressing their concerns that Sustainalytics was engaged in activities in apparent alignment with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
“Companies, investors, and asset managers – including those contracted with our states – rely upon Morningstar and other firms for unbiased financial research,” the letter said. “As state financial officers, we have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the financial research our respective states rely upon is based on sound financial principles rather than BDS movement tactics meant to isolate Israel in the world economy and breed prejudice against the Jewish people.”
Morningstar rates, reviews and provides research related to many funds, including West Virginia’s SMART529 College Savings Program.
The letter urged Morningstar to take immediate corrective action to terminate all research and ratings products that treat Israel-connected companies differently than those operating in other free democracies.
“The BDS Movement is antithetical to the global causes of peace, democracy, and human rights,” the coalition letter said. “We sincerely hope that Morningstar will take corrective measures to ensure that companies, investors, and asset managers – including those contracted with our states – can once again rely upon Morningstar for unbiased financial research.”
In 2021, the West Virginia Legislature passed House Bill 2933, the Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act, a measure supported by Treasurer Moore which prohibits state agencies from entering into contracts with companies that boycott Israel or are participating in the BDS movement.
The full letter can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3Ams4ET.