In a Year of Growth and Expansion, NEPC Elects New Partners and Announces Promotion of Principals

BOSTON–December 15, 2022–NEPC, LLC one of the industry’s largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms, today announced the election of seven new partners and the promotion of eleven new principals across the firm. These new elections and promotions will be effective January 1, 2023.

“NEPC continues to be an industry leader simply because we believe in identifying, attracting, and fostering world-class talent,” said Michael Manning, Managing Partner of NEPC. “These new partners and principals represent the best and brightest in our industry. Through either crafting tailored, research-driven strategies that ensure our clients’ long-term financial sustainability or supporting our clients and workforce with creative solutions, this team is ensuring that NEPC remains a premier destination for investment services.”

The newly elected Partners are:

  • Josh Beers – Head of Private Equity Investments
  • Sebastian Grzejka, CAIA – Senior Consultant, Endowments and Foundations
  • Matt Lombardi – Chief Financial Officer
  • Dulari Pancholi, CFA, CAIA – Head of Credit and Multi-Asset Investments
  • Kelly Regan – Senior Consultant, Corporate
  • Matthew Ritter, CAIA – Head of Real Asset Investments
  • Elton Thomaj, CAIA – Senior Investment Director, Portfolio Construction

NEPC’s new Principals are:

  • Kelly Bruns – Senior Finance Manager
  • Jason Castonguay – Director, Discretionary
  • Thomas Cook – Senior Consultant, Defined Contribution
  • Tim Fitzgerald, CAIA – Senior Consultant, Defined Contribution
  • Brandon Jones – Senior Investment Director, Portfolio Construction
  • Ashlee Lazzari – Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Heather Martone – Senior Marketing Manager
  • Kevin Novak – Senior Consultant, Healthcare
  • Brian Parnell – Director, Discretionary
  • Keith Stronkowsky, CFA – Senior Consultant, Public
  • Eric Vallo, CFA – Senior Consultant, Healthcare

For NEPC, 2022 has been a year defined by talent expansion. Key highlights include:

  • Former Meketa Partner and Chief Operating Officer Kellie Kane joined NEPC as its new COO in May 2022.
  • In July 2022, NEPC expanded its Corporate Consulting practice group by acquiring a team from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM).
  • Real estate industry leader Shelley Santulli joined the firm in October, 2022 as Principal and Senior Investment Director, Real Assets.

For more information on NEPC’s employee workforce and to explore open opportunities, click here.

 

About NEPC, LLC

NEPC, LLC, is one of the country’s leading investment consulting firms, servicing 411 retainer clients with $1.4 trillion in assets1 with $301.2 billion in alternative assets2. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

1 As of 10/1/2022

2 As of 12/31/2021, NEPC provides some form of advice to all clients counted but does not advise all clients on all asset classes.

 

Media Contact:

Laura Nascimento

[email protected]


Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC

NEPC Survey: Majority of Pension Plans See Fed and Soaring Corporate Profit Margins As Biggest Threat to Markets

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NEPC, LLC one of the industry’s largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms, today announced new data showcasing what corporate and healthcare pension plan sponsors believe are the biggest risks to markets over the next 12 months. The new report also gives insight into how plan sponsors are assessing their glide path and managing their asset allocation against the backdrop of this year’s heightened market volatility.

Plan sponsors overwhelmingly agree that the three biggest risks to markets over the next 12 months are: the Fed’s ability to fight inflation (93%), rising interest rates (79%), and corporate profit margins (57%). Interestingly, geopolitical risk seems to have taken a backseat to these three relatively domestic concerns. Of all respondents, 43% listed geopolitical concerns in Europe as one of the three biggest threats, with only 16% listing geopolitical risk in China as one of their top concerns.

“It’s been nearly a decade since plan sponsors have had to keep factors like rapid inflation and rising rates in mind when rebalancing or determining their asset allocation strategies,” said Bradley Smith, Partner and NEPC Corporate Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution consultant. “With rising concerns about how corporate profits will likely impact the market in the year ahead, our priority right now is helping ensure that our pension and defined contribution clients are well equipped to mitigate risk and have a clear plan of action in 2023 and beyond.”

Other notable findings include the following:

  • The majority of respondents have an established glide-path. 49% of respondents have a one-way (de-risking only) glide path, compared to 16% that utilize a two-way (de-risking and re-risking) glide path. 35% of respondents indicated they are not currently utilizing a glide path.
  • Most plan sponsors are not currently rebalancing back to existing targets. 23% of respondents are only partially rebalancing back to targets, with 21% of respondents delaying rebalancing until the market stabilizes. Only 35% of respondents are rebalancing to existing targets. Notably, 0% of plan sponsors are re-risking.
  • Smaller pensions (less than $1 billion AUM) are more likely to consider a Pension Risk Transfer (PRT). Overall, 15% of respondents are either moving forward with some form of PRT while 21% are considering some form of PRT in the near future. 80% of those respondents considering a PRT say the current market environment has not impacted their views. 77% of pension plans with over $1 billion in assets are not currently considering any PRT activity.

This survey was conducted online by NEPC’s Corporate Defined Benefit Practice in September 2022. For the full results of this survey, click here.

For more information on NEPC’s Corporate Defined Benefit Practice, click here.

 

NEPC, LLC

NEPC, LLC, is one of the country’s leading investment consulting firms, servicing 403 retainer clients with $1.5 trillion in assets1 with $301.2 billion in alternative assets2. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

 

1 As of 4/1/2022

2 As of 12/31/2021, NEPC provides some form of advice to all clients counted but does not advise all clients on all asset classes.


NEPC Expands Real Assets Team, Hires Real Estate Industry Veteran

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NEPC, LLC, one of the largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms, today announced that real estate industry leader Shelley Santulli has joined the firm as Principal and Senior Investment Director, Real Assets, effective October 10, 2022.

Santulli brings more than two decades of real estate investment and advisory experience to her new role, and will help NEPC identify and report on emerging investment themes across real asset markets, which include real estate, energy, renewables, natural resources, and infrastructure.

As a part of NEPC’s Real Assets Team, Santulli will be responsible for providing clients with market viewpoints, sourcing investing ideas, conducting manager due diligence, creating educational materials for various real estate and real asset strategies, and advising clients on the implementation of investment strategies.

“It’s only through our best-in-class talent that we’re able to consistently deliver actionable, best-in-class investment ideas to our clients,” said Matt Ritter, CAIA, head of NEPC’s Real Assets Team. “We’re thrilled to be adding yet another experienced leader like Shelley to our team. I know our clients will benefit from her diverse investment experience across markets, property sectors, strategies, investment structures, and market cycles.”

Prior to joining NEPC, Santulli was Executive Vice President, Portfolio Management at American Realty Advisors, where she helped lead the portfolio management and strategy of a diversified, open-end value fund. Throughout her career, she has held several other senior positions in notable investment management firms like Berkshire Group, AEW Capital Management, and Fidelity Investments.

“I’m joining a team that prioritizes delivering research-driven investment solutions tailored to clients’ unique investment goals,” said Santulli. “I have a proven track record of helping institutions navigate turbulent markets, and I’m excited to put that to work for NEPC clients every day.”

Learn more about NEPC’s Real Assets Team here.

About NEPC, LLC

NEPC, LLC, is one of the country’s leading investment consulting firms, servicing more than 400 retainer clients with $1.5 trillion in assets with $301.2 billion in alternative assets. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals.

To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

Contacts

Emma Rayder

[email protected]


NEPC Survey Finds Institutions Want More OCIO Services But Gaps Exist

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NEPC, a leading research-driven investment consultant with $1.5 trillion in assets under advisement, today published its 2022 Governance Survey, which examines how institutions like pensions, endowments and foundations, and healthcare organizations are making strategic investment decisions and engaging with investment consultants to preserve and grow their capital across different asset classes and market cycles.

This year’s survey showcases data from 247 respondents, 47% of which are senior executives within their organization, while 28% serve on their organization’s board or investment committee.

The data across all respondents shows a desire for more OCIO services from investment consultants. Currently, 12% of respondents say their most trusted advisor handles everything like an OCIO. 17% of respondents expect their most trusted advisors to perform the role of investment manager that handles everything like an OCIO in the next 5-7 years.

However, the new report also showcases potential gaps in the OCIO market. When comparing NEPC’s 2018 Governance Survey to 2022, the data shows that expectations haven’t materialized. In 2018, respondents believed the share of trusted advisors acting as an OCIO would increase to 15% by 2023. The general survey results mask a decided shift toward OCIO for certain market segments, including endowments, foundations, healthcare, and defined contribution relative to 2018, and likely increased migration in the years ahead.

“As investment programs have grown over the past several years, we’ve also seen firsthand the increased desire and need for ways to streamline management and operational functions,” said Steve Charlton, Partner and Head of Client Solutions. “There are often good reasons to maintain trusted advisory relationships, which has slowed the overall progression to OCIO. Some clients look to maintain decision-making responsibility or hand off only portions of the governance process, whereas others have decided to move entirely to OCIO.  We believe advisory and OCIO can co-exist within our firm and intend to provide the best services consistent with our clients’ objectives.”

Beyond OCIO relationships, the data also helps show how institutions are remaining committed to their ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) investment goals even amid a tough economic landscape. While data shows that more than half of respondents expect an economic recession and 67% are concerned about rising interest rates, the survey also shows:

  • 80% of all respondents said it is important to incorporate DEI in their investment program, with 18% saying it is extremely important.
  • Healthcare organizations were more likely to believe that incorporating DEI in their investment programs is a top priority, with 29% of these respondents saying it is extremely important.
  • Alternatively, pensions and insurance organizations were slightly less likely to recognize the importance of incorporating DEI into their investment programs, as 23% of these respondents stated DEI was not an important piece of their program.

For more information about NEPC’s, click here, and about NEPC’s OCIO Services, here. To download the full results of NEPC’s 2022 Governance Survey, click here.

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC, LLC, is one of the country’s leading investment consulting firms, servicing more than 400 retainer clients with $1.5 trillion in assets with $301.2 billion in alternative assets. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.


People crossing on crosswalk digital graphics of stocks overlayed

Bloomberg: Stocks See Late-Day Rebound After Unnerving Twists: Markets Wrap

NEPC’s Phill Nelson was quoted in a recent Bloomberg article to discuss what to expect from the 9/21/22 Fed meeting’s announcement on interest rates. View the article on Bloomberg’s site here.

 


The Wall Street Journal: Almost Half of Stock Pickers Beat the Market in Early 2022 Selloff

NEPC’s Tim McCusker was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article to discuss how active managers have benefitted from monetary tightening in early 2022. View the article on The Wall Street Journal’s site here.

 


A graphic with text reading NEPC Hires, followed by headshots, names, and titles for the four employees mentioned in the press release.

NEPC Continues Expansion of Corporate Consulting Teams, Adding Leadership

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NEPC, a leading research-driven investment consultant with $1.5 trillion in assets under advisement, has expanded its Corporate Consulting practice group by acquiring a team from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM). The additions include three new Principals – Alison Lonstein, Matt Maleri, and Joe Nankof – and a new Senior Consultant, Emma O’Brien, all of whom will support clients across NEPC’s business.

Prior to joining NEPC, Lonstein, Maleri, O’Brien, and Nankof served as Consultants and Lead Portfolio Managers at GSAM. The team formed while at Rocaton Investment Advisors, which was acquired by GSAM in 2019.

“Bringing this team on board is a direct reflection that the best consultants in the industry continue to choose NEPC as a place to grow,” said Craig Svendsen, Partner and Corporate Practice Director at NEPC. “This team’s experience and skillset strengthens our position as an industry-leading strategic partner capable of helping our clients weather volatile markets.”

Today’s news is part of a broader trend of former executives from Aon, Mercer, and Meketa recently joining NEPC’s leadership team.

Lonstein and O’Brien will join NEPC’s Defined Contribution practice group, while Maleri and Nankof will join NEPC’s Corporate Defined Benefit practice group. The new team members will also help support NEPC’s healthcare and insurance clients.

“We’ve had the utmost respect for NEPC’s leadership for years and are excited about joining at such a critical time for clients,” said Nankof. “As we began considering our next step, we wanted to find an independent firm with a close-knit, client-first culture. NEPC provides that culture and is an excellent fit on many different levels.”

For more information about NEPC’s leadership team, click here.

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC, LLC, is one of the country’s leading investment consulting firms, servicing 403 retainer clients with $1.5 trillion in assets1 with $301.2 billion in alternative assets2. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

 

1 As of 4/1/2022

2 As of 12/31/2021, NEPC provides some form of advice to all clients counted but does not advise all clients on all asset classes.

Contact:

Laura Nascimento

[email protected]


A graphic with a headshot and text, NEPC Hires Kellie Kane, Partner, Chief Operating Officer

NEPC Appoints Former Meketa Executive To COO Role

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NEPC, a leading research-driven investment consultant with $1.4 trillion in assets under advisement, today announced that Kellie Kane will join the firm as Partner and Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective May 2, 2022. Kane will be responsible for overseeing the execution and implementation of NEPC’s forward-looking operational strategy, including the firm’s performance reporting, technology, and discretionary operations teams. She will be an active member of the firm’s Executive Team, and will report directly to Managing Partner Mike Manning.

“I am happy to announce that Kellie Kane has joined our team as Partner and Chief Operating Officer,” said Manning. “Her skillset and industry experience make her uniquely suited to this role. I know she will play a large part in helping us achieve our strategic operational goals.”

Prior to joining NEPC, Kane spent 24 years at Meketa Investment Group where she most recently served as Partner and Chief Operating Officer. In this previous role, Kane oversaw a large staff across teams like IT, systems development, data, performance reporting, investment analytics, administrative, and transfer operations.

“Joining NEPC means I’m joining a firm with an incredible reputation, earned through its employee-led culture and client-focused philosophy,” said Kane. “I know I’ll be connecting and collaborating with dynamic leaders here – leaders who are just as passionate about improving the financial lives of their clients as I am.”

For more information on NEPC’s Leadership Team, click here.

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC is an independent investment consultant and private wealth advisor, serving over 400 retainer clients and $1.4 trillion in total assets. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

Contact:

Laura Nascimento

[email protected]


A woman in a wheelchair works on a laptop, while across the table, a Black woman shows her a chart.

NEPC 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Progress Report: Radical Transparency is Key to DEI Progress

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NEPC, a leading research-driven investment consultant with $1.4 trillion in assets under advisement, today published its second annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Progress Report, the first annually-produced report of its kind for the investment consulting industry.

The report tracks annual progress against the firm’s data-driven Diverse Manager Policy goals and reaffirms NEPC’s belief that investment consultants play a significant role in the financial industry’s quest to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms.

“Our goal is to be a change agent for the democratization of access to capital. To do that, NEPC is committed to being radically transparent at all levels – from the way we hire talent to the way we engage with diverse investment managers,” said Sam Austin, Partner & Governance Board Member; Manager of NEPC’s Western U.S. Public Funds Team, and Chair of NEPC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board.

“Our 2021 report lives up to that commitment. Consultants might be wary of sharing all their data in this way, but in this instance, progress is far more important than public perception.”

NEPC’s 2021 DEI Progress Report provides a clear view into the firm’s DEI initiatives across its entire ecosystem. Listed below are highlights from this year’s report:

Increasing Diversity in NEPC’s Talent Pipeline

  • 58% of new hires come from diverse backgrounds
  • 37% of all 2021 new hires are gender diverse, up 6% from 2020
  • 30% of NEPC partners are from diverse backgrounds
  • NEPC launched a new MBA Rotational Program to recruit diverse candidates to participate in a summer intern experience at the firm. Half of all 2021 interns have accepted offers to join NEPC on a permanent basis.

Increasing Diversity in NEPC’s Recommended Strategies

  • In 2021, NEPC launched its Explorer Program, a platform to identify and engage with diverse-owned and -led investment management firms that are not currently 1- or 2-rated by NEPC.
  • The firm increased its vetting of diverse managers by almost 30% in 2021, largely due to initiatives like the Explorer Program.
  • NEPC completed a total of 315 meetings with diverse firms over the past two years, significantly surpassing the goal of 132 meetings outlined in NEPC’s Diverse Manager Policy
  • 59% of all NEPC clients currently use diverse managers in their portfolios, and 188 client strategies are fully managed by diverse firms. This equates to $40.7 billion in client assets allocated to diverse firms.

“The industry is aware of the importance of increasing diversity at all levels, but we’ve come to realize that it’s a goal that can only be achieved through bold action by investment consultants,” said Mike Manning, Managing Partner and President of NEPC. “As gatekeepers for trillions of dollars of assets, consultants have the power to ensure that governments, institutions, families and individuals are preserving and growing their capital across asset classes and market cycles in ways that create enduring, equitable, and inclusive change for the investment industry and our world.”

For more information about NEPC’s sustainable solutions like its Impact Investing Committee and Diverse Manager Committee, click here. To download the full results of NEPC’s 2021 DEI Progress Report, click here.

 

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC is an independent investment consultant and private wealth advisor, serving over 400 retainer clients and $1.4 trillion in total assets. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit nepc.com.

 

Contact:

Laura Nascimento

[email protected]


Birds eye view of commuters moving through a public space.

NEPC Elects a New Partner and Announces the Promotion of Principals for 2022

BOSTON—December 9, 2021 — NEPC, LLC, one of the industry’s largest independent, research-driven investment consulting firms, today announced the election of one new Partner and the promotion of six new Principals, effective January 1, 2022.

“These individuals have all demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributed to the overall success of NEPC. We fully anticipate that they will continue to make a substantial impact for our clients, the firm, and our industry, and these promotions reflect our confidence in their prospective contributions,” said Michael Manning, Managing Partner of NEPC.

The firm will now have 45 Partners and 27 Principals1.

The newly elected Partner is Will Forde, and new Principals include Richard Chari, Chris Hill, Chris Miers, Tim O’Connell, Deirdre Robert, and Dan Runnals.

Partners

  • Will Forde, CFA, CAIA joined NEPC in 2011 as a Search Analyst on NEPC’s Research team, ultimately transitioning into Consulting on the firm’s Public Fund team. Will continued to take on more responsibility and rose through the ranks to Senior Consultant, consistently receiving high marks from his clients on his solution-focused approach to investment portfolios and his strong relationship-building skills. He has played a leadership role on NEPC’s Diverse Manager Committee and has deep investment knowledge of all asset classes. He is also an active member of NEPC’s Asset Allocation Committee, its Client Conference Committee, and has played a leadership role in many of the firm’s internal DEI efforts.

Principals

  • Richard Chari joined NEPC as an analyst in 2008 and has worked his way through the ranks to an accomplished, highly valued Senior Consultant on the Corporate Defined Benefit (DB) Team. His extensive knowledge of LDI and pension risk transfer (PRT) are essential skills that are leveraged across the DB Team and by other teams at the firm.

 

  • Chris Hill, CFA, CAIA joined NEPC in 2013 as a Senior Consultant in Alternatives and then after a short stint at Entrust, returned to NEPC in 2017 to join the firm’s Private Markets Team. Chris has a breadth of knowledge and expertise that he shares across NEPC. Whether it be his work as a private market consultant, his research on private credit, or his more technical portfolio construction skills, he is constantly sought out by Partners and Consultants looking to tap into this knowledge.

 

  • Chris Miers J.D., CRE, FRICS joined NEPC in 2019 as a Senior Consultant on the Real Assets Team. Chris spearheads investment manager research in Europe and Asia in addition to his general non-core and real estate debt underwriting efforts. He also helps lead NEPC’s research in topical areas such as data centers, life sciences, and single-family housing strategies.

 

  • Tim O’Connell, CFA joined NEPC in 2012 as a hedge fund analyst. Today he manages a 14-person investment research team. The ~1,650 investment strategies covered by his team represent about 60% of NEPC client assets. Tim played a major leadership role in creating NEPC’s investment manager evaluation framework and in implementing it over the past two years.

 

  • Deirdre Robert, CFA, CAIA joined NEPC 13 years ago as a Performance Analyst on the Defined Contribution (DC) Team after spending two summers interning in Research. As a Senior Consultant on NEPC’s DC Team today, she is known for her deep knowledge of DC topics, her ability to handle complex clients, and her strength in new business. She is a member of NEPC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, is a Diverse Manager Committee Ambassador, and a Client Conference Committee member.

 

  • Dan Runnals CFA, CAIA joined NEPC in 2011 as a Performance Analyst and made his way into the consulting ranks of the firm’s Taft-Hartley Team. Now a Senior Consultant, he has built strong relationships with NEPC’s clients and is extremely knowledgeable across all asset classes, asset allocation methodologies, and investment products.

 

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC is an independent investment consultant and private wealth advisor, serving over 400 retainer clients and $1.4 trillion2 in total assets. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing investors with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios for institutional investors and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. To learn more about NEPC, visit NEPC.com.

 

1 Data as of 1/01/2022

2 Data as of 10/1/2021