The Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association on Thursday honored six financial and retirement industry executives for its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Awards.
The executives are:
- Raynelle Grace, head of active equity product management at Vanguard Group and a member of the Vanguard Black Professionals Network senior leadership team. She led Vanguard's 2020 Women's Initiative for Leadership Success Summit.
- Lesley Nurse, head of North American consultant relations for Neuberger Berman Group. She is a member of the firm's operating committee and its diversity council "and has contributed to the development of the firm's strategy and execution of equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives," DCIIA said in a news release. Ms. Nurse also is a senior sponsor of the Neuberger Berman's Black Employee Resource Group.
- Hanneke Smits, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management. Ms. Smits is a member of BNY Mellon's executive committee. Smits was previously CEO of Newton Investment Management, a BNY Mellon investment firm. "In her prior role, Smits established Newton's diversity and inclusion committee, which led to the introduction of a new recruitment policy with targets relating not only to gender, but also ethnic and socioeconomic diversity," the news release said.
- Carol Waddell, senior vice president and head of the retirement solutions group for Empower Retirement and a member of Empower's executive committee. Ms. Waddell also is co-chair of the Empower Diversity, Belonging and Equity Council and executive sponsor of the Women's Empowerment Network business resource group.
- Wendy Wattenberg, a partner and global client manager at Mercer. For the last eight years, she has led the New York chapter of [email protected], focusing on gender parity. In 2019, Wendy became global co-chair for [email protected]
- Chris Weirath, senior vice president of global account management for the workplace solutions group for Morningstar Investment Management. "She represents the workplace group on the Morningstar Diversity and Inclusion board and has been active in Morningstar's Executive Leadership for Women program," the news release said.
The executives were chosen by a committee of DCIIA members, from a list of nominees, "for their demonstrated commitment to driving change in improving diversity and inclusion within their organizations, industries, and/or communities," the news release said.
The executives were announced Thursday at a virtual event hosted by DCIIA.
"Shining a spotlight on diversity and inclusion has been one of our top priorities over the last two years since we formed our member-led D&I Steering Committee to explore ways DCIIA should be engaging in this area," Lew Minsky, the association's president and CEO, said in the release.