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Morningstar launches Morningstar Developed Markets LGBTQ+ Leaders Index

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Morningstar, Inc has announced the launch of the Morningstar Developed Markets LGBTQ+ Leaders Index. The firm writes that the new index is designed to deliver exposure to 100 large- and mid-cap companies demonstrating strong LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and practices from a diverse range of regions and sectors.

It adds to Morningstar’s growing suite of socially focused indexes which currently includes the Morningstar Minority Empowerment Index, Gender Diversity Index and Women’s Empowerment Index.

The firm writes that the innovative index methodology is designed by Morningstar Indexes, the fastest growing global index provider for the last three years according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting. The LGBTQ+ Leaders Index is underpinned by data from Morningstar Sustainalytics and ExecuPride, a socially focused enterprise that harnesses data science to monitor company advancements in LGBTQ+ inclusion. Companies are first screened for controversial product involvement, UN Global Compact compliance, and severe ESG controversies using Morningstar Sustainalytics leading ESG data and research and are then ranked by ExecuPride score and size. The 100 companies with the highest ExecuPride scores from across regions and sectors are selected for membership.

Ron Bundy, President, Morningstar Indexes & Morningstar Sustainalytics, says: “We are thrilled to add this new capability to our growing suite of indexes to empower investors while expanding our global sustainability index offering. Our new index fulfills a market need by enabling investors to tap into global companies with leading LGBTQ+ policies to pursue their investment objectives, whether for values alignment, or to pursue investment opportunity, or a combination.”

Companies near the top of the ExecuPride Assessment Scale, which also represent the top holdings within the index, have demonstrated direct evidence of DEI policies, initiatives and support structures as well as a prominence of LGBTQ+ representation and advocacy at the leadership level, Morningstar writes. Top representative holdings for the index currently include Eli Lilly & Co., JP Morgan Chase, Alphabet, Apple and Johnson & Johnson among others.

Rob Edwards, Global Director of ESG Product Management, Morningstar Indexes, says: “The index industry has made great strides in recent years to develop products that fall under the ‘S’ in ESG. Yet, while there are a number of broad socially focused indexes available in the market today, few options focus on sexual orientation or gender identity. In developing the Morningstar Developed Markets LGBTQ+ Leaders Index, our objective was to bring greater transparency to LGBTQ+ practices and policies in the workplace and how companies are incorporating these approaches into their strategy. We opted to do this in a way that stresses an objective, data-based approach.”

In developing this new index, Morningstar Indexes also consulted with a range of organisations and experts on LGBTQ+ policies and issues, including LGBT Great and myGwork, as well as with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) leads at Morningstar.

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