BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NEPC, a leading research-driven investment consultant with $1.3 trillion in AUM, today published its 1st Annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Progress Report in a push for radical transparency and accountability in the investment industry.

The first comprehensive DEI report of its kind from an investment consultant, the 42-page report delivers on a 2019 commitment to measure quantitative and qualitative progress toward publicly-stated DEI goals on expanding engagements with diverse-owned and diverse-led investment managers and increasing diversity and championing a culture of equity and inclusion among NEPC employees, leaders and owners.

“You cannot manage what you don’t measure,” said Sam Austin, Partner, Executive Committee Member and Manager of NEPC’s Western U.S. Public Funds Consulting Team. Austin has spearheaded the firm’s DEI efforts since joining in 2017 and is currently Chair of NEPC’s Diversity and Inclusion Board.

“We hold ourselves accountable to specific goals for diversity, equity and inclusion in the same way we manage our progress toward any other important strategic objective,” Austin said. “Progress does not always occur in a straight line, so quantitative data may differ from year to year. But we will always be transparent in reporting on whether we are making meaningful improvement over time.”

The progress report illustrates specific initiatives underway at NEPC to continue working towards DEI goals in the years to come. Significant metrics in NEPC’s 1st Annual DEI Progress Report include:

  • NEPC brought on diverse talent in 2020: When looking at gender, ethnicity and race, more than half (58%) of NEPC’s new hires in 2020 were diverse.
  • 2020 saw strong upward mobility among female employees and leaders at NEPC: Gender diversity at the partner and principal level (30% female identifying employees) is nearing the same rate as within the firm’s total employee population (36% female identifying employees).
  • More progress needs to be made to increase ethnic and racial diversity among leadership: At the most senior levels, ethnic and racial diversity (10.8%) remains lower than ethnic and racial diversity of the overall NEPC employee population (24%).
  • DEI increased at the ownership level: Partners that are diverse by gender, race or ethnicity own a 30% interest in the firm.
  • Engagement with diverse-led and diverse-owned investment managers increased significantly: NEPC achieved a 72% increase in the number of Research interactions with diverse-owned1 and diverse-led2 firms and achieved a 45% increase in the representation of these diverse firms on NEPC’s Focused Placement list.

Speaking about the urgency for advancing DEI in finance, Chenae Edwards, Partner and Co-Chair of NEPC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Network, said, “The lack of diversity and equitable practices in the finance industry is the result of decades of persistent actions – or lack thereof – by leaders, board members and companies. The moment requires similarly persistent actions from all stakeholders to reset our industry’s foundation to reflect the rich diversity of the global marketplace.”

NEPC hopes their leadership in voluntarily publishing this DEI Progress Report will challenge other investment consultants, asset managers and investors to transparently set, pursue and report on their goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.


NEPC is an independent investment consultant and private wealth advisor, serving 391 retainer clients and $1.3 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

1PC defines diverse-owned investment managers as a firm that is at least 50% owned by an underrepresented group.
2PC defines diverse-led investment managers as firms that is 33% -to-50%-owned by an underrepresented group.