Al­lianceBern­stein Hold­ing LP to Pos­si­bly Re­lo­cate Staff Out­side of NY

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Charles Bern­stein

In an at­tempt to cut back on ex­penses, Al­lianceBern­stein Hold­ing LP is con­sid­er­ing re­lo­cat­ing some of its staff to out­side New York. This is just the most re­cent ex­am­ple of cut backs by money man­agers in re­sponse to in­vestors putting money into in­dex-track­ing funds with lower fees.

These plans, which aren't likely to go into full ef­fect un­til late 2018, are part of a big­ger push to cut costs as its par­ent com­pany AXA SA makes an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing of a U.S. life in­surance and as­set man­age­ment firm com­bined, ac­cord­ing the Wall Street Jour­nal's sources fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter. New lo­ca­tions be­ing con­sid­ered for the New York em­ploy­ees of Al­lianceBern­stein in­clude Char­lotte, North Carolina, where AXA is al­ready ex­pand­ing its mark, as well as San An­to­nio, where Al­lianceBern­stein has an of­fice al­ready.

Ac­cord­ing to the WSJ, “No fi­nal de­ci­sions have been made and the firm may ul­ti­mately de­cide to keep its staff in New York, the peo­ple said. The firm's chief ex­ec­u­tive told staff in a town hall meet­ing last week that it was con­sid­er­ing a num­ber of op­tions for its real es­tate foot­print, in­clud­ing mov­ing some staff out of state, one of the peo­ple said. Al­lianceBern­stein has 3,438 em­ploy­ees glob­ally, ac­cord­ing to its an­nual re­port, with most based in New York, Lon­don and Hong Kong. It has been work­ing to down­size its global of­fice foot­print since 2010. At the end of last year, it oc­cu­pied about 40% of the 992,043 square feet of space at its New York head­quar­ters un­der a lease that runs through 2024, and sub­let the bal­ance. It also rented space in two other New York City lo­ca­tions and in White Plains, N.Y., ac­cord­ing to the an­nual re­port.”

Due to un­prece­dented changes in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try, money man­agers are work­ing to cut back on costs. In­vestors no longer be­lieve that ac­tive man­agers can pick win­ners and have in­stead de­cided to pay less and put their money into pas­sive in­dex and ex­change-traded funds, which have in­creased in pop­u­lar­ity by reach­ing new highs in re­cent months.

At the same time, fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors are of­fer­ing more and more fee-based port­fo­lios to clients that are filled with lower-cost funds. All this has led to many tra­di­tional as­set man­agers strug­gling to keep as­sets and make changes to their fee struc­tures, chase merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions or re­think their strate­gies and diver­sify their busi­nesses. Many of these moves have been tried by Al­lianceBern­stein.

Due to un­prece­dented changes in the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try, money man­agers are work­ing to cut back on costs.

Peter S. Kraus has served as the Chair­man and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Al­lianceBern­stein from 2008 through 2017

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