NEPC’s 24th Annual Investment Conference last month—with a record turnout of over 200 attendees—at Boston’s iconic Park Plaza Hotel saw some industry heavyweights come together. The event featured speakers such as Larry Fink, founder, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, Karen Karniol-Tambour, head of investment research at Bridgewater Associates, and Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News.

This year’s theme of transitions seemed apt, given that the United States is in the late stage of its economic cycle and the upcoming election year in 2020. Tim McCusker, our CIO, kicked off the conference with a discussion on key indicators that point to the US’s potential transition into this late phase of the economic cycle. Included in his tips for investing in this shifting economic landscape: an action list for asset allocation. (Much to the chagrin of some and the delight of many, he compared Boston’s spate of sport triumphs to investment victories still possible in an ageing market cycle.) Next up: Larry Fink, who did not disappoint with his mix of investment advice and personal anecdotes. Day 1 ended with a bang with Jonathan Karl offering up insights into his life covering the White House during this divisive and turbulent period in American politics.

On Day 2, NEPC’s consultants and asset-class specialists held breakout sessions on a gamut of topics, including emerging markets, fixed income, the impact of climate change on investing, and exchange-traded funds. However, it was NEPC’s riff on the ESPN classic, Around the Horn, that got the loudest cheers. Underdog Sarah Samuels, our new director of Traditional Research, emerged victorious, garnering the most votes from attendees putting the NEPC app to good use.

Our environment-friendly initiatives were also successful with more than half the attendees using Terrapass to reduce their carbon footprint based on miles traveled for the conference. In addition, we saved over 1,375 single-use plastic bottles by switching to reusable cups.

As we draw the curtain on yet another successful conference, we thank everyone who attended and look forward to seeing you next year! Be sure to mark your calendars for NEPC’s 25th annual conference on May 20-21, 2020 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.