AllianceBernstein Considers Moving Some Staff Away From New York

By Sarah Krouse Features Dow Jones Newswires

AllianceBernstein Holding LP is in talks to shift some staff out of New York in the latest example of money managers trying to cut expenses as investors plow money into index-tracking funds with lower fees.

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The plans, unlikely to be completed until late 2018, are part of a broad cost-cutting effort at the money manager as its parent insurer AXA SA prepares an initial public offering of a combined U.S. life insurance and asset management firm, according to people familiar with the matter. AllianceBernstein is considering moving staff to locations including Charlotte, N.C., where AXA is expanding its footprint, and San Antonio, where AllianceBernstein already has an office.

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.

Money managers are trying to trim costs amid unprecedented changes in the economics of their industry as investors shift money out of active funds managed by stock pickers and into passive index and exchange-traded funds. Many investors have lost faith in so-called active managers' ability to pick winners and have opted to instead pay less to match the performance of an index.

Those funds have gained even more momentum in recent months as stock markets have reached new highs.

Write to Sarah Krouse at sarah.krouse@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 11, 2017 14:48 ET (18:48 GMT)