Fee-based AllianceBernstein is a financial advisor firm in New York City with $487 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm works with almost 29,000 clients, including high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension plans and corporations. Its services are centered around various forms of investment management.
Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc. and Alliance Capital Management Corporation, AllianceBernstein’s two predecessor firms, were founded in 1967 and 1971, respectively. In 2000, Alliance Capital Management purchased Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., but the company didn’t change its name to what it currently is until 2006.
AllianceBernstein employs more than 2,000 advisors, some of whom have earned professional certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) or chartered financial analyst (CFA).
What Types of Clients Does AllianceBernstein Accept?
The majority of AllianceBernstein’s clients are high-net-worth individuals. However, the firm works with many other types of clients, including investment companies, business development companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans, charitable organizations, government entities, other investment advisors, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and corporations.
AllianceBernstein Minimum Account Sizes
Clients of AllianceBernstein are generally required to have at least $1 million in investable assets. The exception is if you’re participating in a wrap fee program, in which case the minimum is much lower at $100,000. Some other programs at this firm may adhere to other minimum requirements.
Services Offered by AllianceBernstein
There are a wide range of investment-centric services available through AllianceBernstein, including:
- Investment advisory services
- Passive management
- Value equities
- Growth equities
- Asset allocation services
- Alternative investments
- Value U.S. equities
- Concentrated growth equities
- Global core equities
- Real estate services
- Middle market lending
- Bernstein Private Wealth Services
- Wealth growth and preservation
- Portfolio customization based on:
- Investment goals
- Income needs, tax situation
- Risk tolerance
- Retail managed account programs
- Separately managed account (SMA) programs
- Wrap fee programs
AllianceBernstein Investment Philosophy
AllianceBernstein prides itself on its proprietary investment research, which is generated by its in-house team of research analysts. This research fuels the firm’s many different investment strategies. These strategies vary in terms of their risk profile, targeted asset classes and objectives. For example, a client on the verge of retirement may be interested in the Fixed-Income strategy, whereas an aggressive investor may be more drawn to the Growth Equities strategy.
AllianceBernstein offers investment strategies that use both passive and active management. There are strategies like Fixed Income, Growth Equities or Real Estate Services that focus on just one asset class, and there are also strategies like Muti Asset or Asset Allocation Services that diversify across multiple asset classes. With limited exceptions, the firm focuses on long-term investment strategies.
Fees Under AllianceBernstein
Investment management fees at AllianceBernstein can vary depending on the market value of your assets, what you invest in and if you participate in a wrap fee program through the firm. The fee schedule for return-seeking and diversifying assets is below:
|Fees: Return-Seeking and Diversifying Assets|
|Account Value||Fee Percentage|
|Up to $1,000,000||1.25%|
|$1,000,001 - $2,000,000||1.20%|
|$2,000,001 - $5,000,000||1.10%|
|$5,000,001 - $10,000,000||1.05%|
|$10,000,001 - $25,000,000||0.90%|
|$25,000,001 - $50,000,000||1.05%|
|$50,000,001 and above||0.65%|
For investments in risk-mitigating assets, the firm charges a 0.55% fee, with one exception. If you invest in the Intermediate-Duration Institutional Portfolio, your fee will instead be 0.45%.
Many investment management clients invest in both kinds of assets. To determine the proper fee, AllianceBernstein will multiply the fee for each type by the proportion of the client’s portfolio that’s allocated to that security.
For most of the wrap fee or SMA programs available at the firm, the client will pay between 0.25% and 0.90% of their AUM. A portion of these fees go to AllianceBernstein, with the rest heading to the appropriate program sponsor.
What to Watch Out For
Many advisors working for AllianceBernstein are licensed to sell insurance products, in addition to their basic capacity as investment advisors. The sale of these insurance products may generate commissions for the advisors who sell them. As a result, a potential conflict of interest could ensue.
Certain advisors here are also registered representatives of a securities broker-dealer. This means they’re authorized to conduct certain securities transactions and may earn commissions for doing so. Similarly, these commissions can cause a potential conflict of interest. Despite this, AllianceBernstein is a fiduciary, which means it’s required to always act in your best interests, no matter what.
There are multiple disclosures listed on AllianceBernstein’s Form ADV. These include violations for approving an employee to act as an investment advisor before that employee had the proper license to operate as such in the state, failing to register certain employees as associated persons of an investment advisor and failing to properly report a computer model coding error that had a key effect in managing risk within models. Keep in mind that the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to always put the interests of clients first.
Opening an Account With AllianceBernstein
You can get in touch with AllianceBernstein by filling out the contact form provided on its website. The form requests your first and last name, a subject, your email address and a brief message or question. If you’d prefer to call the firm, you can do so at (212) 969-1000. Each of the firm’s offices have phone numbers listed on its website as well.
Where Is AllianceBernstein Located?
AllianceBernstein is headquartered on the corner of 55th Street and 6th Avenue in the Midtown neighborhood of New York City. Additionally, the firm has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Tel Aviv, West Palm Beach and Washington, D.C.
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