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Neuberger Berman ESG Investing Challenge

The 2021 theme is The Path to Net-Zero Emissions and
offers a prize pool of $10,000
Neuberger Berman will donate an additional $10,000 to a 501c3 organization of the winning team's choosing. The chosen 501c3 organization must contribute to or be in line with the 2021 theme.

We are proud to announce the winning teams of the 2021 ESG Investing Challenge, Team Faurecia and Team Yara International.

Team Faurecia: Ryan Fernandez, Jook Hoor Tan, Shwetabh Sameer

Team Yara International: Alexander Conway, Niyati Tiwari, Maxime von Wallenberg Pachaly
Winning Team 
The Challenge
2021’s Theme Is The Path to Net-Zero Emissions

Neuberger Berman is proud to announce the 2021 Neuberger Berman ESG Investing Challenge in conjunction with Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Columbia Business School, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The London Business School and NYU Stern School of Business.

Students will work with mentors to identify publicly listed equity investments whose business objectives are aligned with the ESG theme, and are expected to generate positive financial performance (as a dual objective). After an initial round of eliminations, finalists will present virtually to a panel of Neuberger Berman judges who will select the winning team(s), which will receive a financial prize from Neuberger Berman.

Neuberger berman logo

Neuberger Berman

Founded in 1939, Neuberger Berman is a private, 100% independent, employee-owned investment manager. From offices in 34 cities worldwide, the firm manages a range of strategies, including equity, fixed income, quantitative and multi-asset class, private equity and hedge funds on behalf of institutions, advisors and individual investors globally. With more than 600 investment professionals and over 2,000 employees in total, Neuberger Berman has built a diverse team of individuals united in their commitment to delivering compelling investment results for our clients over the long term. That commitment includes active consideration of environmental, social and governance factors. As an active manager, Neuberger Berman has a long-standing belief that material environmental, social and governance factors are an important driver of long-term investment returns from both an opportunity and a risk mitigation perspective. We also understand that for many of our clients the impact of their portfolio is an important consideration in conjunction with investment performance.

ESG Investing at Neuberger Berman 

2020 ESG Annual Report 


Baruch College Zicklin School of Business Logo

Baruch College Zicklin School of Business

The Zicklin School of Business is a recognized leader in providing undergraduate, graduate, and executive education for the 21st century. It offers part- and full-time business degree programs taught by faculty who are thought leaders and practitioners in their fields. An AACSB-accredited business school, Zicklin consistently ranks among the region’s and nation’s top performers in academic excellence, diversity and value.


Columbia Business School logo

Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School’s Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing is a dynamic resource for students and practitioners to learn about value investing through world-class education and research, bridging theory and practice. The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise also educates leaders to use business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and management tools to address social and environmental challenges.


Kellogg logo

Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Social Impact at Kellogg aims to inspire and equip business leaders to create positive, significant and sustainable impact in the world. Intellectually rigorous yet real-world relevant, our Social Impact programming is designed to expand students’ awareness about the pivotal role that management and markets plays in society while our culture and community enable personal and professional growth.

Kellogg’s record of leadership in the field of impact finance includes founding the world’s longest-running sustainable finance competition, hosting the world’s largest faculty-membership organization, the Impact and Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium, and administering the premier global prize for research in responsible investing, the Moskowitz Prize.

London Business School Logo

The London Business School

The London Business School's Investment Management Club is proud to partner with Neuberger Berman on their annual ESG Investing Challenge. The LBS IMC is a student-run club that aspires to raise the School's profile within the Asset Management community and help students prepare for a career in the industry. The IMC manages the LBS Student Investment Fund, designed to educate students in active funds management through a hands-on approach and eventually benefit students financially through the funding of scholarships.


NYU Stern Logo

NYU Stern School of Business

The New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business is proud to partner with Neuberger Berman on the ESG Investing Challenge. NYU Stern MBA students are prepared to build a better world through better business, engaging with the Center for Sustainable Business—which prepares future and current leaders to embed social and environmental sustainability into core business strategy through education, research and engagement—as well as gaining hands-on experience managing funds using ESG strategies through the Michael Price Student Investment Fund.


Key Dates
October 5, 2021

Virtual Information Session
October 15, 2021

Deadline to Submit Teams
November 4, 2021

Mid-Challenge Check-In
November 23, 2021

Submissions Due
December 1, 2021

Finalists Announced
December 17, 2021

Virtual Final Judging Panel
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Why Participate?

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is a rapidly growing space with ~$35.3 trillion in AUM1, having grown 15% in two years, and ESG considerations are increasingly becoming central considerations in investment processes, especially amid the global pandemic.

Through the NB ESG Investing Challenge, students will study an ESG theme and learn how to incorporate ESG considerations into their investment processes. Neuberger Berman also views the Challenge as an avenue through which exceptional candidates can be identified for internship and full-time positions.

“Getting to a more sustainable world requires the judgement to make complex decisions about where to allocate precious long-term capital. Our clients have always chosen to partner with us because they trust our judgement – and increasingly that trust is earned through our innovative approach to ESG and impact analysis.”

~ Jonathan Bailey, Head of ESG Investing

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2021 Theme

ESG Investing Theme: The Path to Net-Zero Emissions

The planet’s average temperature has warmed about 1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century, with the last seven years being the warmest on record. In the last century alone, the global sea level has risen about 8 inches, with that rate doubling over the last two decades. As the warming of the atmosphere, ocean and land continues to accelerate, the impacts are being felt in every region of the world. The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement aimed to unite nations to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius which requires cutting emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG) in half by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

We believe climate change will affect businesses in two major ways: first the physical impact of climate change itself, such as extreme weather events, wildfires, floods etc., and second are the business risks and opportunities associated with the transition toward global net-zero emissions. New regulations in combination with a rapidly changing landscape will create new winners and losers.

How have companies pivoted in an effort to transition to net-zero emissions?

What new market opportunities have been created as a result of this transition?

What are the different paths companies are taking on their journey to achieve net-zero emissions?

Providing Climate Solutions
Providing Climate Solutions
Companies whose products and services are either directly focused on delivering climate solutions or enabling other companies to transition to net-zero emissions.
Transitioning to Net-Zero Emissions
Transitioning to Net-Zero Emissions
Companies that are in the process of pivoting all or part of their business model to align with net-zero targets.
Sequestering Carbon
Sequestering Carbon
Companies involved in capturing and storing carbon dioxide to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
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Insights and Sources

Investing for a net-zero future
Down to business: What net-zero really means
Principles for environmentally sound business practices
Climate and Energy Benchmark
Net-Zero Company Benchmark
Briefing: Net-zero for corporates
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Prize Pool

$10,000 to be split between teams at the judges’ discretion. Judges may award prizes to multiple teams. Neuberger Berman will donate an additional $10,000 to a 501c3 organization of the winning team’s choosing that assists with the journey to net-zero.

Investment Universe

Investment ideas must be a public equity (long only) with a market cap of $1 billion or greater. Investments can be global.

Eligibility and Team Composition

  • Graduate students at Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Columbia Business School, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The London Business School and NYU Stern School of Business are invited to participate.
  • Teams must consist of two to four members, at least 50% of the team must be first-year full-time MBA students; the other 50% can be second-year MBA students and other graduate students from the university.
  • The team must appoint a team captain responsible for team organization and communications with competition organizer, mentors and judges.


Each team is required to submit a maximum five-page investment pitch with up to five additional pages for appendix and supporting tables (10 pages total). In addition, each team must complete a mandatory mid-competition check-in (early-November) with their assigned mentor, to be scheduled at their discretion. All ideas must be presented using original content.

  • 2021 theme: This year’s theme is the path to net-zero emissions. Examples of investments may be companies that are actively providing climate solutions, transition to net-zero emissions and/or sequestration of carbon.
  • Financial objective: Investments must provide compelling financial upside.

Required Elements

  • Investment thesis, price target, including expected total return, relevant timeframe and valuation methodology
  • Alignment with the net-zero emissions theme. Identification of key metrics for measuring company’s success within the theme, any relevant engagement objectives with the company, and broader ESG considerations
  • Financial statements and forecasts
  • Assumptions and risk factors

Finals Presentation

Finalists will be notified by December 1, 2021. Finalists must prepare a presentation for the judges that effectively communicates the investment and its satisfaction of the dual-objective criteria. The presentation will be followed by Q&A from the judges.


ESG Objective 30%

  • Does the investment meet or is on the path to reach net-zero emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement?
  • Is the investment impactful and with scope?
  • Is there a discussion of broader ESG considerations?
  • Are the key performance indicators identified?

Financial Objective 30%

  • Does the investment have compelling financial upside?
  • Is there an alignment of financial performance with the reduction of emissions?

Quality of Analysis 30%

  • How thorough and deep is the analysis?
  • Are forecasts/projections and assumptions rooted in strong financial logic?
  • Have the requirements been met, and are key questions answered?

Quality of Presentation 10%

  • Is the submission clear and compelling?
  • For finalists: Is the presentation polished and compelling, and have all team members participated substantially?
Neuberger Berman believes ESG factors can be material to investment performance over the medium to long term from both a risk and opportunity perspective.

Joe Amato

Joseph V. Amato

President of Neuberger Berman Group LLC and Chief Investment Officer of Equities

Ingrid Dyott

Ingrid Dyott*

Co-Portfolio Manager of Core Equity and Sustainable Equity Strategies

Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan Bailey

Head of ESG Investing


Manisha Ali

Manisha Ali*

Portfolio Specialist, Core Equity and Sustainable Equity Strategies

Michael Barr

Michael Barr

Vice President, Equity Research

Evelyn Chow

Evelyn Chow

Vice President, Equity Research

Dina Ciarmatori

Dina Ciarmatori

Vice President, Sustainable Equity team

Timothy Creedon

Timothy Creedon

Director of Global Equity Research

Hank Elder

Hank Elder

Senior Associate, ESG and Impact Investing

Jenna Elson

Jenna Elson**

Vice President, Team Kaminsky

Daniel Flax

Daniel Flax*

Senior Research Analyst, Technology, Media and Telecom Group

Jake Gamerman

Jake Gamerman

Managing Director, Global Equity Research

Joan Gaudioso

Joan Gaudioso

Research Associate, Team Kaminsky

McCoy Jen

McCoy Jen*

Research Analyst, International Equity

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy*

Senior Vice President, Global Equity Research

Caitlin McSherry

Caitlin McSherry

Director of Investment Stewardship, ESG Investing

Robert Moffatt

Robert Moffatt

Senior Vice President, Core Equity and Sustainable Equity Strategies

Charles Nguyen

Charles Nguyen

Managing Director, ESG Investing

Sarah Peasey

Sarah Peasey

Director, European ESG Investing

John San Marco

John San Marco

Senior Vice President, Global Equity Research

Jonathan Shahrabani

Jonathan Shahrabani

Vice President, Global Equity Research

Allison Shenoy

Allison Shenoy

Vice President, ESG Investing

Fleura Shiyanova

Fleura Shiyanova

Research Associate, Equity Research

Marco Spinar

Marco Spinar

Associate Portfolio Manager, Emerging Market Equity

Jim Tyre

Jim Tyre

Senior Vice President, Global Equity Research

Graeme Welds

Graeme Welds

Associate, ESG Investing

Nickie Yue

Nickie Yue

Research Analyst, Equity Research

*Columbia Business School Alumni

**NYU Stern Alumni

We are proud to announce the winning team of the 2020 ESG Investing Challenge, Team Teladoc.
Songqing Jiang, Nick DiGeronimo, Levente Merczel and Bill Ledley
Learn More
Winning Team