AllianceBernstein has created an institutional solutions group that will be led by a duo from its sell-side business, Bernstein Research.

Inigo Fraser Jenkins and Alla Harmsworth will be joined by three colleagues from Bernstein: Robertas Stancikas, Harjaspreet Mand and Maureen Hughes.

Together they are to carry out research aimed at fostering “deeper discussions on asset allocation, asset-liability management, implications for portfolio construction and, ultimately, better investment solutions,” said AB.

AB had $765bn (€675bn) in client assets under management as of 31 October 2021. According to IPE’s 2021 Top 500 asset management guide, as at the end of 2020 it managed €32.6bn for external European institutional investors.

Jenkins has been with AB since 2015, with previous experience at Nomura, Lehman Brothers, and the Bank of England. At Bernstein Research, he was head of global quantitative strategy, with AB saying he provided top-down market strategy for US and global markets, quantitative investment research and investment industry analysis.

Harmsworth also joined AB in 2015, having worked at Nomura, Fidelity, Nikko Asset Management and ABN Amro.

At Bernstein Research she was head of European quantitative strategy and “Alphalytics”, a proprietary tool she developed to help asset owners “distinguish among return sources, identify the true value-add from active products and create effective portfoios of funds”.

She will continue to lead the product, AB said.

The asset manager said the institutional solutions team’s initial pipeline of research topics would centre around key issues of interest for the institutional investment industry, namely inflation, factor investing, alpha and beta, and alternatives.

“The institutional solutions group brings together the best of our investment and research expertise, which we hope will foster broader, holistic conversations with institutional investors in all parts of the world,” said Steve Eisenberg, AB’s global head of institutions.

“We strive to be the best partners we can be for institutional investors, and this initiative represents another big step forward in that effort.”

Neil Curham, executive director at AlphaFMC, told IPE that the asset management consultancy saw a lot of effort going into developing solutions and services for institutional clients, as asset owners were increasingly seeking out partners and not product providers.

”The evolution of private assets as part of the overall asset class mix has driven activity for a while, and now there is the need to engage with clients and develop solutions that fulfil ESG commitments such as net zero,” Curham added.

“This is a unique opportunity in our industry’s lifetime for managers to strengthen relationships by understanding client drivers and developing solutions as a partner on their long-term strategy.”

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