Neuberger Berman expands mixed-fund board with two new indies

Two former partners at Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCooper expand board overseeing 49 mutual funds, ETFs and CEFs to 11, 10 of whom are independent

The board overseeing Neuberger Berman mutual funds, ETFs and closed-end funds expanded from nine to 11 following the June appointment of two new independent trustees.

The two new directors elected during a June 29 board meeting are both CPAs, former partners in global professional-services firms, with experience working with mutual funds and experience on the boards of non-profit organizations, according to a June 30 filing.

Ami Kaplan, 63, retired as a partner after a 41-year career at Deloitte LLP that included a seat on Deloitte’s board of directors and a stint as vice chair between 2017 and 2020. She also served between 2014 and 2016 as president and chair of the board of the Women’s Forum of New York.

Franklyn E. Smith, 62, is a former partner at PriceWaterhouseCooper LLP, where he served as market-team leader, primary reporting partner for the New York office Asset & Wealth Management practice and focused primarily on mutual-fund clients during the last 25 years of a career at the firm that lasted  from 1989 to 2021.

The other independent trustees on the board include Michael M. Knetter, 63; James G. Stavridis, 68; Deborah C. McLean, 69; Marc Gary, 71; Tom D. Seip, 73; Michael J. Cosgrove, 74; Martha C. Goss, 74 and George W. Morriss, 76.

The board’s single interested member is Joseph V. Amato, 61, who has been president and CEO of Neuberger Berman since 2021 and president of mutual funds since 2018.

In addition to its audit committee, the board maintains a contract-review committee, an ethics and compliance committee, executive committee, a governance and nominating committee, and an investment performance committee, each of which meets approximately once per quarter.

Fund-board members receive retainers of $180,000 per year plus $15,000 for each regularly scheduled meeting. Board and committee chairs receive additional stipends.

Trustees other than Kaplan and Smith, who were appointed in June, received compensation ranging between $240,000 and $310,000 for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2023.

The board is responsible for supervising 49 funds that include a mix of mutual funds, closed-end funds and ETFs.

The funds’ advisor is New York-based Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers LLC, which held $436 billion in client assets as of March 32, 2023.

Chief compliance officer for the funds is Brad E. Cetron.

Ami Kaplan

• Global lead partner, platinum clients, Deloitte LLP, 2004 – 2023
• Vice chair, Deloitte LLP, 2017 – 2020
• Deputy Managing Partner, Northeast, 2004 – 2010
• President, board chair, Women’s Forum of New York, 2014 – 2016

Franklyn E. Smith

• Lead audit partner, PriceWaterhouseCooper LLP, 2006 – 2021
• Asset & Wealth Management practice executive positions, PriceWaterhouseCooper LLP, 1989 – 2021
• Independent director, Zurich North America, 2023 – Present