NEPC’s IDAC launch was included in PlanSponsor’s weekly roundup of new investment products and services.

NEPC Announces Diversity Council for Institutional Investors

NEPC LLC has unveiled its Investment Diversity Advisory Council (IDAC), a program intended to convene institutional investors to discuss ways to promote diversity in their organizations and in their investment decisions.

“There’s an abundance of evidence to show that investment programs benefit from the different perspectives and ideas that come from a diverse and inclusive workforce,” says Sam Austin, partner, chair of NEPC’s Diversity and Inclusion Board, and co-chair of the firm’s Diverse Manager Committee. “At NEPC, our goal is to be a clearinghouse for information and ideas on how to improve investment outcomes for our clients and we believe diversity is an important element in improving the sustainability of those outcomes. This open forum will allow us to engage with our clients directly in conversations that help all stakeholders—including our firm—expand our definitions of diversity and continually improve the measurement benchmarks we use to track our collective progress.”

NEPC’s Diverse Manager Committee will lead the sessions and act as an educational resource for investors at various stages of incorporating diversity and inclusion into their investment plans. Outside of the IDAC, the committee’s primary purpose is to identify highly qualified diverse investment firms—those with significant ownership by women and/or underrepresented groups—that can best fulfill the unique goals, risk parameters and financial objectives of NEPC’s clients.

The first IDAC forum was held on February 5 in Tempe, Arizona, as a pilot for the broader initiative. Ten self-selected public fund clients joined NEPC facilitators for a workshop on how to best achieve short- and long-term goals for increasing diversity in boardrooms, vendor lists, workforces and investment manager selection processes. The next forum will be held at NEPC’s annual client conference on May 20 and 21 in Boston.