Rising Star Program

Nicsa’s Diversity Project North America (DPNA) is committed to providing mentorship, networking, and career development opportunities to diverse, aspiring leaders in the asset management industry. The Rising Star Program offers DPNA member firms a high-profile and meaningful way to celebrate and cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders.


Member Firms annually select Rising Star (RS) candidate(s) who meet the following criteria:
  • In the early stages of their career with 5-8 years of industry experience
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities
  • Expected to be a future leader
  • Committed to diverse and inclusive work environments
  • Willing to participate in a customized executive coaching program for six months (one half-day session per month during the work day).

Selection Process

Firms are responsible for establishing/facilitating their own their Rising Star selection processes. We recommend using the following system:

  1. Form an internal Rising Star Committee at your firm (comprised ideally of upper management and human resources) to facilitate the selection process of the program.
  2. Announce nominations for the program amongst management and human resources departments. Encourage members of your firm to nominate Rising Stars who they believe fit the criteria previously mentioned. Please keep in-mind that Rising Stars must be submitted to Nicsa by May 28, 2021.
  3. Notify nominees via email and ask that they submit a resume and a written essay of 300 words or less explaining why they are the best candidate to receive the Nicsa Rising Star award and how they will use their participation in the program to benefit others, their firm, and themselves.
  4. Select nominees to move forward into an interview process with members of your Rising Star committee. Nominees should be prepared to express why they are deserving of the award, and should be able to demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, the mission of the Diversity Project North America and the Rising Star Program. 
  5. Select your Rising Star and notify them via a congratulations call with C-suite or executive management at your firm. Submit their information to Nicsa through this submission form
  6. Promote your Rising Star through internal communications (intranet, blogs, newsletters, etc.) to celebrate their commitment to leadership and promoting an inclusive working environment.

Benefits to Rising Stars

The Rising Stars will receive the following benefits through Nicsa's Diversity Project North America:
  • Six months of coaching in a nationally recognized leadership development program facilitated by CRA Inc.
  • Widespread recognition to the asset management community through features across Nicsa social media, email, video, website, conferences, and their own firm's internal/external communications
  • Attendance and feature at the Fearless Leadership Symposium, hosted by Nicsa's Diversity Project North America on June 16-17, 2021.
  • Participation in industry roundtables with senior leaders from Nicsa member firms
  • Invitations to specialized inclusive leadership training

CRA Leadership Coaching

Specialized leadership coaching will be provided to the Rising Stars through CRA for one half day, each month for six months. In this nationally-recognized program, they will be part of a cohort with other Rising Stars who share their commitments to leadership, inclusive working environments, and success within the asset management industry. The coaching is funded by Nicsa's Diversity Project North America and poses no additional cost to member firms.

Click here for a more detailed overview of the program.

Benefits to Participating Firms

Diversity Project North America member firms will benefit from the Rising Star Program through:
  • Gaining a means to support, develop, and retain future leaders of the industry
  • Recognition as an employer that invests in high-potential, diverse employees and inclusive work environments
  • Expanded engagement and influence within Nicsa committees and at Nicsa events and programs
  • Opportunity for mentorship of future Rising Stars


  • What is the cost to participate in the Rising Star Program? The recognition of your firm's Rising Star, their attendance to the Fearless Leadership Symposium, and their participation in CRA leadership coaching is funded by Nicsa's Diversity Project North America (DPNA).
  • Does our Rising Star need to be a current leader? Your candidate can be in any role, but should show strong leadership qualities and a high potential for future leadership.
  • How many Rising Stars may my firm choose? One Rising Star per DPNA member firm may participate.
  • Is the program limited to a certain role/job function? Rising Stars can be from any department within your firm–whether it be investment management, legal, compliance, marketing, etc.
  • Does the Rising Star's geographic location matter? Accommodations can be made and physical attendance is not mandatory at this time. Participation in the program is virtual.
  • How can my firm participate? Participation in this program is a membership benefit available to Diversity Project North America member firms. For more information about the initiative and other membership benefits, please contact Justine Phoenix, Head of Diversity Project North America.
  • Does our firm need to abide by the selection process? We recognize that all firms are different. That being said, your firm is encouraged to find a selection process that is thoughtful, reasonable, and repeatable. The selection processes listed by Nicsa are not requirements, but suggestions for your benefit.
  • How can we promote our Rising Star? Nicsa will provide a communications kit to use internally, on social media, etc. to celebrate the nomination of your Rising Star and promote your firm's participation in the program. Nicsa will also share through its various channels and promote the program to industry media.
  • When will the award recognition be held? The Rising Star recognition will be held during the Fearless Leadership Symposium on June 16 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Will this be an annual event? Yes, the Rising Star Program will be held annually in conjunction with the annual Fearless Leadership Symposium.
  • How can we register for the Fearless Leadership Symposium? Your Rising Star will be provided a free pass to the event. Corporate passes are now available and include unlimited registrations for your firm's employees. Click here for more information on FLS.

Final Steps

Nicsa will make arrangements for the Rising Star's attendance and recognition at the Fearless Leadership Symposium on June 16-17, where they will be connected with resources regarding their participation in the program and specialized leadership coaching.

For more information on the Rising Star Program, please contact Justine Phoenix, Head of Diversity Project North America.

For inquiries on Nicsa's Diversity Project North America, contact Anne De May, Vice President of Sales & Member Engagement.

2021 Rising Star Sponsors