Dave Williams is making a habit of receiving the highest civilian honors from foreign governments. The chairman and chief executive officer of New York-based Alliance Capital Management Corp. last month received the highest award the Polish government bestows on civilians: the Polish Order of Merit, Cavalier of the Grand Cross of Poland, First Class.

It was the second such award that Mr. Williams has received. Last year, Austria bestowed on him the Grand Declaration of Honor in Silver for merit to the Republic.

In each instance, Mr. Williams was honored for his economic development activities in the particular country.

In 1995, Alliance Capital and Bank Pekao, a 180-branch bank headquartered in Warsaw, formed Przymierze Trust Fund Co., a joint venture investment management company to manage and distribute mutual funds in Poland.

So far, four zloty-denominated funds have been launched, raising about U.S.$30 million.

A similar joint venture was launched in Austria earlier, said an Alliance spokesman.

"Poland is going through a very important period of change," Poland's President Alexander Kwaniewski said in a statement. "New free market institutions like the Warsaw Stock Exchange didn't exist six years ago.

"During the same period of time, Alliance Capital Management contributed in a major way to the Polish financial economy by forming a joint venture with Bank Pekao," said Mr. Kwaniewski.

Reba Williams, Mr. Williams' wife and a member of the Alliance board, also received the highest honor. Norman Bergel, Alliance senior vice president based in London, was awarded the Order of Merit, Cavalier of the Grand Cross, Second Class.