AllianceBernstein continues to set out its stall for UK investors with potential investment trust

Speaking to Investment Week, head of UK and Ireland wholesale for the firm Lee Matthews reflected on the firm’s success to date.

“When I joined AB [in 2018], it was just me and we did not really have much exposure to domestic clients,” he said. “My remit was to really build out the wholesale channel, but AB do things incrementally.

“Fast forward to today, we have a team of four frontline salespeople, a support team of two and we are on the verge of another person coming in. In terms of resource, our coverage model for the UK is now pretty exhaustive.”

AllianceBernstein brings $4bn sustainable global equity fund to the UK

Matthews explained that their approach to the market had been a simple asset allocator model: “Do you select single strategy funds? If the answer to that is yes, then we want to have a conversation.”

He added that over the past four years, visibility had been a key part of his strategy to bring AllianceBernstein products to the UK market.

“Have we got share classes? Are we in the IA sectors for screening? Are we on the platforms? To be honest, most of the answers to those was no four years ago.

“But now, thanks to the OEICs and some of our SICAVs, we have near complete coverage of all platforms, we have share classes that are relevant to clients and we are just about to hit our three-year track record on the first fund that we launched – Europe ex-UK.”

Earlier this month, the suite grew to six as the firm made its $4bn sustainable global equity SICAV available to UK investors as an OEIC.

There are plans to further expand the firm’s sustainable stable, which Matthews described as “our biggest success story over the last 12-18 months,” as the team have further conversations with clients.

Alongside a sustainable domestic equity product, AllianceBernstein is currently toying with the idea of a sustainable value product as clients seek to build ESG-focused products into their core portfolios.

AllianceBernstein to enter global ETF market

Added to this is the potential to globalise its currently US-focused ETF proposition and also join the investment trust space.

“We are thinking about how we can bring illiquidity premium, complexity premium into that vehicle and make it more accessible for the UK wealth market,” Matthews explained. “We know the UK loves investment trusts, so it seems like a natural opportunity.

“It fits in the wheelhouse of where you can bolster someone’s yield or give them access to something that is a bit more difficult in an open-ended structure.

“From an AB corporate perspective, the UK retail market is a priority.”

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