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Neuberger Berman Sustainable Investing Challenge

The 2023 theme is Artificial Intelligence and offers a prize pool of $10,000


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Neuberger Berman is proud to launch the 2023 Sustainable Investing Challenge for the fifth year in a row in conjunction with the Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management, The London Business School, NYU Stern School of Business, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Challenge
2023’s Theme is Artificial Intelligence

Students will work with mentors to identify publicly listed equity investments whose business objectives are aligned with the sustainability 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 39 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 751 investment professionals and 2,826 employees, 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 

2022 Integrated Annual Report 

 

Baruch College Zicklin School of Business Logo
Columbia Business School logo
Harvard Business School
Kellogg logo
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NYU Stern Logo
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Key Dates
Virtual Kick-Off

September 15, 2023
Team Sign-Up Date

September 22, 2023
Submission Due

November 10, 2023
Finalists Announced

November 20, 2023
Virtual Final Judging Panel

December 15, 2023
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Why Participate?

Through the NB Sustainable Investing Challenge, students will study a sustainability theme and learn how to invest for sustainable and impact portfolios. Neuberger Berman also views the Challenge as an avenue through which exceptional candidates can be identified for internship and full-time positions.

 

“It is an honor to be entrusted with the precious capital of clients from around the world. Our clients have diverse portfolio objectives—from managing material financial risks, to seeking specific environmental or social outcomes. Some wish to align their portfolio with the net-zero transition or to invest in companies that help save lives. We are committed to offering clients the choice for how they wish their capital to be invested.”

~ Jonathan Bailey, Global Head of ESG and Impact Investing





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2023 Theme

Sustainable Investing Theme: Artificial Intelligence (AI)



Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, Generative AI has been predicted to lead to innovation and disruption across sectors, and contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030 through productivity gains. Many companies, including tech giants such as Google, Meta and Microsoft, have accelerated the development of new Gen-AI solutions that introduce a range of benefits to the economy and society. However, due to the rapid pace of innovation, limited understanding of the technology’s potential, and incomplete regulatory oversight, many industry experts and regulators have expressed concerns about irresponsible AI development. Therefore, as investors, we take into consideration the duality of AI business implications as both a value driver and potential regulatory and reputational risk factor.

Beyond the investment risk and rewards, we also believe in AI’s potential to accelerate sustainable outcomes. AI has the potential to be a positive enabler for a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially zero poverty (SDG 1), quality education (SDG 4), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), and industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9). Companies can generate positive impact through AI-integrated products like personalized learning platforms, medical diagnostics, and smart power grids. Further, by pursuing AI-enabled business models, companies can induce positive outcomes such as natural resource efficiency and improved employee health and safety through their operations. Over the next years, we expect to see new AI-driven innovations that may generate value not only for our investee companies, but also for their stakeholders.

 



What new market opportunities have been created as a result of AI advancements?

What are AI business applications companies can utilize to enable positive social or environmental outcomes?

What risk management practices have firms implemented to ensure responsible development and deployment of AI?

Providing Positive AI Technology
Providing Positive AI Technology
Companies whose products and services are directly focused on developing AI technologies “for good”.
Enabling Positive Outcomes through AI-Driven Solutions
Enabling Positive Outcomes through AI-Driven Solutions
Companies who responsibly integrate AI technologies in their products, services, or operations to generate positive outcomes.
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GUIDELINES

Prize Pool

$10,000 to be split between teams at the judges’ discretion. Judges may award prizes to multiple teams.



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, University of Chicago Booth, Kellogg School of Management, 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 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.


Deliverables

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 with their assigned mentor, to be scheduled at their discretion. All ideas must be presented using original content.

  • 2023 theme: This year’s theme is artificial intelligence. Examples of investments may be companies that are actively providing AI technologies or companies that are utilizing these capabilities to achieve sustainable outcomes.
  • 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 artificial intelligence 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 mid-November. 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.


CRITERIA

Sustainable Objective 30%

  • Does the investment meet or is on the path to achieve sustainable 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?
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG) INVESTING
Neuberger Berman believes ESG factors can be material to investment performance over the medium to long term from both a risk and opportunity perspective.
LEARN MORE
2022 Winning Team

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

Jose Alvarez, Tanay Dixit, and Benjamin Hui


2022 Winning Team