Investment manager Neuberger Berman has joined an initiative to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the private equity industry.
By signing on to the Institutional Limited Partners Association's (ILPA) Diversity in Action Initiative, Neuberger Berman joins a group of limited partners and general partners that have committed to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion within its own organisation and the private equity industry more broadly.
Neuberger Berman is a private, independent, employee-owned investment manager that maintains a
range of strategies—including equity, fixed income, quantitative and multi-asset class, private equity, real estate and hedge funds—on behalf of institutions, advisors and individual investors globally. The firm manages $405 billion in assets as of end of December 2020.
"We are proud to be a part of the Diversity in Action Initiative," said Anthony Tutrone, global head of NB Alternatives. "Equity, inclusion and diversity are a fundamental part of our culture and long-term strategy at Neuberger Berman, and the ILPA's framework is deeply aligned with our own goals."
ILPA's Diversity in Action Initiative asks participants to take concrete DEI actions spanning talent management, investment management and industry engagement. At Neuberger Berman, these actions are a continuation of ongoing efforts to foster an equitable, inclusive, and diverse environment."
Neuberger Berman Private Equity points to the fact that 53% of US private equity employees are women or minorities, 49% of US new hires in the last three years were minorities and 57% of senior level US new hires were minorities.
The firm also says it seeks to promote diversity within the private equity industry. When investing with other private equity firms, as part of its due diligence process, the firm performs a diversity analysis including analysing the potential general partner's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion principles.
Since 2007, Neuberger Berman Private Equity has also managed a strategy - NorthBound - which partners with overlooked and underserved emerging managers. It is also a member of both the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), a network of diverse-owned private equity firms and hedge funds, as well as the Thirty Percent Coalition, to support board diversity in the U.S.
"The ILPA's Diversity in Action Initiative provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with our peers to build a more inclusive private equity industry," said Maura Reilly Kennedy, managing director, Neuberger Berman Private Equity. "We hope the initiative will continue to grow and that our actions will encourage others to join in the effort."
Neuberger Berman has also developed the proprietary Neuberger Berman Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Index. The Index, which is updated annually, is the average of two sub-indices: the Diversity Index, which measures progress towards the firm's goal of reflecting the broader college-educated population and the Equity & Inclusion Index which compares employee engagement across different employee populations aiming for there to be no difference in experience and access to opportunities.
Neuberger Berman has offices in 24 countries, including Australia. In 2020, the PRI named Neuberger Berman a Leader, a designation awarded to fewer than 1% of investment firms for excellence in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. The PRI also awarded Neuberger Berman an A+ in every eligible category for their approach to ESG integration across asset classes.