Morningstar remains on Florida’s ‘scrutinized companies’ list because the state thinks it might label companies that do business in occupied Palestinian territories

Investment. By anyaberkut via iStock for WMNF News.

©2024 The News Service of Florida

Investment research firm Morningstar remains on a Florida list of “scrutinized companies” tied to the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

Lamar Taylor, interim executive director of the State Board of Administration, told Gov. Ron DeSantis and Cabinet members Tuesday that Morningstar must provide written confirmations that it has ceased using occupied-territories ratings tags that in any way “convey” an anti-Israel bias and provide monthly reports on carrying out recommendations from experts on Israeli-Palestinian issues.

DeSantis supported continuing to monitor Morningstar’s actions before removing the company from the list.

“I think clearly Morningstar is responding to Florida’s policy on anti-BDS, which is good,” DeSantis said. “And I think their actions are promising.”

The Chicago-based Morningstar objected in October when it was added to the list, which prohibits investments involving the state’s retirement system.

The list was created in 2007 to require the State Board of Administration, which oversees state investments, to divest from companies with links to Iran’s petroleum industry.

Taylor also said the state has identified about 40 companies that could be added to the list based on criteria changes made during a November special legislative session.

The special session came after the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, igniting an ongoing war in Gaza.

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