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NEPC Elects New Partners and Announces the Promotion of Principals for 2021

December 15, 2020

We're excited to announce the election of three new Partners and the promotion of four new Principals effective January 1, 2021. “These individuals have all contributed in a variety of ways to the success of NEPC and we fully expect that they will drive the future success of our firm,” said Michael Manning, Managing Partner of NEPC. The firm will now have 47 Partners and 20 Principals1.

The newly elected Partners include Margaret Belmondo, Chenae Edwards, and Judy Murphy, who bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the leadership team. New Principals include Rick Ciccione, Lynda Dennen Costello, Will Forde and Elton Thomaj, who have demonstrated exceptional investment expertise and leadership throughout their careers. For more details on these individuals, please see the following paragraphs.

Partners

Margaret Belmondo, CIMA® joined NEPC in October 2016 with her investment experience dating back to 2001. Margaret sits on the Public Fund Team with broad responsibilities in all facets of client management. Her consultative style and unique ability to develop a rapport with clients and prospects has helped her bring in new business and retain complex Public Fund clients. Margaret’s keen ability to manage and take ownership of projects has helped her deliver high quality advice on a consistent basis. She is an active member of the Impact Committee, Marketing Committee, and the Unfavorable News Committee. Additionally, she co-leads the Women’s Leadership Forum; an important platform for educating the firm on gender diversity and inclusion. Previously, Margaret worked for the PFM Group where she was a Director in the asset management group. Prior to that, she was a Senior Investment Consultant at SEI Investments.

Chenae Edwards, CPA joined NEPC in 2013 as a Sr. Analyst on the Endowment and Foundation Team and then more recently transitioned to the Healthcare Team. Chenae was recognized early as a natural leader and quickly excelled to the Sr. Consultant level. She advises a broad range of clients, including healthcare systems, endowments, foundations and insurance organizations. She is recognized as an asset allocation specialist and serves on NEPC’s Asset Allocation Committee. Chenae has also been a tremendous leader of our firmwide initiatives promoting diversity equity and inclusion. She co-chairs NEPC’S Diversity Equity and Inclusion Network (DEIN). In February of this year, right before the pandemic hit, she interviewed Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, about diversity in finance and the concept of being “Color Brave.™” Prior to NEPC, Chenae worked at Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth Management, and at Sovereign’s Capital as an Analyst. She started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Financial Services Audit Practice where she focused on the banking and asset management industries.

Judy Murphy, SPHR joined NEPC in 2009 and oversees our Human Resources and Organizational Development efforts. Judy is a member of the Management Group and works closely with the senior leadership team on developing and implementing human capital strategies. Judy is responsible for design and execution of all of NEPC’ s internal employee policies as well as leading initiatives to create an engaging and inclusive culture. Judy is known for her creativity and ability to guide senior leadership on strategic initiatives with people implications. Judy and her team recently developed many programs during the pandemic to support our employees. She has shaped many of the programs and activities that are imbedded in our culture such as the DNA Awards, our LEADING program, formation of the Principal Designation and implementation of our employee engagement survey and action plans. Prior to NEPC, Judy has worked in Sr. HR leadership positions at Fidelity Investments and Investors Bank & Trust, as well as running her own HR consulting practice.

Principals

Rick Ciccione joined NEPC in 2017 and has over 15 years of experience in investment consulting and financial services. He is a senior member of our Endowment & Foundation consulting practice and serves on the Impact Investing Committee. Additionally, Rick has demonstrated his leadership skills as NEPC’s Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC) representative. Rick also manages and mentors the analysts in the Chicago Office. Rick is known as a passionate investor with a client relationship style that allows him to easily connect and earn trust. He has been able to take over relationships with ease from others as well as be successful in new business wins. Rick also participates in many of NEPC’s activities and events and naturally engages with employees across the firm. Prior to joining NEPC, Rick was an Investment Consultant at LCG Associates, Inc. in Atlanta and a Fixed Income Trader at Arbor Research and Trading. Earlier in his career he held positions at Lehman Brothers and Alliance Bernstein.

Lynda Dennen Costello, ASA, EA joined NEPC in 2006 and is a founding member of the Asset Allocation Team and a key resource for so many consultants across the firm. She is responsible for oversight of LDI portfolio construction for NEPC’s clients, both advisory and discretionary. Lynda works in tandem with the consulting teams and interacts regularly as a subject matter expert with our Corporate, Public and Taft-Hartley clients. Lynda is known for bringing her in depth technical knowledge to our clients in a way that allows her to create a strong bond, enhancing our brand and differentiating her in asset-liability management, liability driven investing, and many other elements of portfolio construction. She is a member of the Corporate Pension Solutions Group, Law Firm/Cash Balance plan committee, the Asset Allocation Committee, and the Impact Committee focusing on climate change risk analysis. Lynda is also co-Chair of NEPC’s Women’s Leadership Forum where she has focused on proactive efforts and initiatives that highlight gender diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining NEPC, Lynda worked for Mercer Human Resource Consulting for 11 years as a Consulting Actuary in the Retirement Practice.

Will Forde, CFA, CAIA joined NEPC in 2011 as a member of the Research Team. Will quickly navigated towards consulting and has emerged as a key leader and member of the Public Fund Team, managing and mentoring team members and providing outstanding service to our Public Fund clients. Will is also a member of the Asset Allocation Committee and a member and leader on the Manager Diversity Advisory Committee. Will’s relationship management skills, investment acumen and his deep knowledge of managers has earned him a strong and sought-after reputation in the Public Fund space. Will has recently been involved in key new business wins for NEPC and is the lead on many critical accounts. Prior to NEPC, Will worked at Brown Brothers Harriman in the Securities Lending Group. Will currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Belmont Hill School, a private institution who seeks to educate young men.

Elton Thomaj, CAIA joined NEPC in 2013 as an analyst primarily servicing our Healthcare clients. Elton made a name for himself very early in his NEPC career as someone who possesses unique analytical, modeling and programming skills that have had far-reaching positive implications for NEPC and for our clients. Over 6 years with the Healthcare Team, Elton worked on key initiatives around enterprise risk modeling and the implementation and utilization of Spotfire as a more streamlined analytics tool for the firm. He was specifically called upon by some of our most complex clients to customize solutions for their portfolios. In 2019 he joined the NEPC Portfolio Construction team, servicing Healthcare, Endowment & Foundations, Private Wealth Corporate and Public clients. Elton has been a critical driver of enhancements to the MixMaster asset allocation tool. In addition, he continues to drive the build out of additional portfolio construction tools on Spotfire as well as FactSet. Elton is also a member of the Asset Allocation Committee. He is considered a key innovator and creative force on the team. Prior to joining NEPC, Elton worked as an Analyst for the Eriksen Group and as an Actuary for the Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority where he developed and managed new diagnostic tools and processes.

ABOUT NEPC, LLC

NEPC is an independent investment consultant and private wealth advisor with more than 30 years’ experience. Combining a proprietary research team dedicated to the long-term challenges facing institutional and high-net investors, with our unique client-centric model, NEPC builds forward-looking investment portfolios.

We service over 390 retainer clients representing assets over $1.2 trillion2 from our offices in Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland, and San Francisco. To learn more about NEPC, visit www.nepc.com.

1 Data as of 1/1/2021.
2 Data as of 10/1/2020.

Topics: Press, Press Release

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