Pensions & Investments published a feature story on NEPC’s new Diverse Manager Policy with quotes from Sam Austin. Read the article on P&I’s site here. 

NEPC has adopted a new policy increasing the investment consultant’s engagement with minority, women or disabled-owned investment managers.

NEPC plans to increase its number of meetings with minorities, women and disabled business enterprise firms by 10% in 2020, according to a policy developed by the firm’s diverse managers committee and research team.

It also plans to have minority managers represent 10% of managers on the firm’s focused placement list by year-end 2021, a 67% increase over the current level of representation.

In addition, NEPC intends to make efforts to include a diverse manager in searches if a top-rated minority manager is available. The investment consulting firm will also provide preliminary feedback within three months of initial contact with diverse managers.

Finally, NEPC will put measures in place within its research team and diverse managers committee to ensure that these goals are met.

“We want more equitable participation (and) intend this policy to be goal-specific, measurable, transparent, responsive and multidimensional,” said Sam Austin, partner and co-chair of NEPC’s diverse managers committee, in a phone interview. “And we hope our leadership role here will be an influence on our fellow consultants in the business.”

This policy goes into effect Jan. 1.

NEPC currently has $32.5 billion of client assets invested with diverse firms and maintains a database of over 200 investment firms with majority or substantial minority ownership. More than 43% of NEPC’s clients use diverse investment managers.