NEW YORK — Lewis Sanders, chief executive officer and chairman of AllianceBernstein LP, is a self-confessed evangelist.
This quietly spoken man says he and his firm like to tell clients that global mandates are far superior in performance terms than local country mandates. And judging from recent growth in the firm's global and international assets under management, he has won some converts.
But the firm is also looking hard at the U.S. defined contribution market and recently entered the hedge fund business.
Global and international mandates now account for more than half the firm's $680 billion in total assets under management, while just over a third of the firm's overall business comes from non-U.S. clients. Indeed, assets managed for its foreign client base grew 23% organically for the year ended Sept. 30. Organic growth for the firm's total client base was 9% for the same period. The firm now manages total assets of $436 billion for U.S. clients.
"Our client base is globalizing; our product set is definitely global and is seen as that by our clients," Mr. Sanders said.
The firm's decision to preach the virtues of global investing comes at a time when many more institutional investors are seeking alpha from international sources, according to Rich Nuzum, worldwide partner at Mercer Investment Consulting, New York.
Mr. Sanders described the firm's timing as fortuitous. "We got here because we thought it was a better way to manage money, and our clients are agreeing."