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Neuberger Berman ESG Investing Challenge

The 2022 Theme is Biodiversity 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 2022 theme.

Neuberger Berman is proud to announce the 2022 Neuberger Berman ESG Investing Challenge in conjunction with Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The London Business School, NYU Stern School of Business, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Challenge
2022’s Theme is Biodiversity

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.

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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 

2021 ESG Annual Report 


Baruch College Zicklin School of Business Logo
Columbia Business School logo
Harvard Business School
Kellogg logo
London Business School Logo
NYU Stern Logo
Wharton logo
Key Dates
September 23, 2022

Virtual Kick-Off
October 3, 2022

Sign-up & Team Submission Deadline
November 4, 2022

Mid-Challenge Check-In
November 18, 2022

Submissions Due
November 22, 2022

Finalists Announced
December 9, 2022

Virtual Final Judging Panel
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Why Participate?

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is a rapidly growing space with projections estimating that AUM will grow to ~$50 trilliion by 2025,1 and ESG considerations are increasingly becoming central considerations in investment processes.

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. Through partnering with leading business schools, we are excited to explore emerging sustainability themes with the next generation of investment leaders, while also introducing them to our innovative approach to ESG and impact analysis.”

~ Jonathan Bailey, Head of ESG Investing

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2022 Theme

ESG Investing Theme: Biodiversity

In the past 50 years, human activity has caused the loss of 83% of all mammals and 50% of all plant species.2 Human activity has also altered 70% of the planet’s land surface, degrading up to 40% of it.3 As nature loss continues to accelerate, it is expected to have a significant economic effect: approximately $44 trillion of global GDP is highly or moderately dependent on nature and the ecosystem services it provides.4

We believe nature loss, or biodiversity loss, can affect businesses through two major channels. First is through dependencies on nature: these are aspects of ecosystem services that a business relies on to function, e.g., pollination, or water filtration. Second is through impacts on nature: these are the effects of a company’s actions on nature that result in nature’s increased or reduced capacity to provide ecosystem services. Natural capital impacts may result in reputational or regulatory risks for businesses. As capital markets start to price in nature loss, the rapidly changing landscape will create new winners and losers.

How have companies pivoted in an effort to manage their natural capital-related dependencies and impacts?

What new market opportunities have been created as a result of the need to reverse nature loss?

What are the different paths companies are taking on their journey to achieve nature-positive outcomes?

Providing Natural Capital Solutions
Providing Natural Capital Solutions
Companies whose products and services are directly focused on delivering natural capital solutions.
Enabling Nature-Positive Outcomes
Enabling Nature-Positive Outcomes
Companies whose products or services are enabling other companies to achieve nature-positive outcomes in their products, services, or operations.
Transitioning to Nature-Positive Outcomes
Transitioning to Nature-Positive Outcomes
Companies that are in the process of pivoting their whole or a portion of their business model to manage nature-related dependencies and impacts and achieve nature-positive outcomes.
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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 focused on conservation of the teams’ choosing.

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, Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, The London Business School, NYU Stern School of Business, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 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, and the other 50% can be second-year MBA students, executive 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.

  • 2022 theme: This year’s theme is biodiversity. Examples of investments may be companies that are actively providing natural capital solutions, enabling other companies to achieve nature-positive outcomes, or transitioning to nature-positive outcomes themselves.
  • 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 natural capital 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 November 22, 2022. 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 achieve nature-positive outcomes?
  • Is the investment impactful and within 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 management of nature-related risks and opportunities?

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

Vijay Advani

Vijay Advani

Neuberger Berman ESG Advisory Council Member

Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan Bailey

Head of ESG Investing

Ingrid Dyott

Ingrid Dyott

Neuberger Berman ESG Advisory Council Member


We are proud to announce the winning teams of the 2022 ESG Investing Challenge, Team Trex.

Jose Alvarez, Tanay Dixit, and Benjamin Hui

2022 Winning Team