Morningstar, Inc. has acquired a 40% ownership stake in Sustainalytics, provider of ESG research and ratings. Morningstar says it made the move as part of its long-term sustainability strategy.
In August 2015, the two firms announced a strategic collaboration that resulted in the March 2016 launch of the Morningstar Sustainability Rating for global mutual and exchange-traded funds. The ratings use Sustainalytics research to gauge how well companies in funds are managing ESG issues.
As part of the transaction, Steven Smit, head of sustainability at Morningstar, will join the Sustainalytics board of directors. The Sustainalytics executive team has taken a minority equity stake in the company.