Erik Knutzen joined NEPC as the investment consultants first CIO, the firm announced today. In a news release, NEPC said Mr. Knutzen will oversee all research at the firm and act as a key investment strategist. CEO and Chairman Richard Charlton said in the release that the blurring of lines between traditional and alternative investment mandates had made the need to have an investment veteran overseeing the entire research platform very apparent. Mr. Knutzen had been director of institutional strategies for RiverSource Investments. RiverSource spokesman Ryan Lund said the firm has begun a search to fill the position.