Founded in 1962 as the investment management department of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Alliance Capital remained a subsidiary the firm until DLJ was purchased by The Equitable Companies in 1985, when it became a subsidiary of the insurance giant. Alliance was spun-off as a publicly-traded company in 1988. In recent years, the firm has grown with a couple of major acquisitions, including the purchase of Shields Asset Management in 1994 and Cursitor-Eaton Asset Management Company in 1996. In 1999, Bruce Calvert was named CEO of Alliance, taking over Dave Williams, who had run the firm since 1977, and remains the company's chairman.
Major money manager
With about $301 billion under management at year-end 1998, Alliance is one of the world's largest investment management firms. Of this about $301 million, more than a third are in mutual funds. In 1998, the firm posted record income of $292.9 million. Revenues also were a record, breaking $1 billion for the first time, and hitting $1.3 billion, a whopping 36 percent jump from 1997.
Alliance offers institutional account management for corporate and public employee pension funds, and serves money market funds and deposit accounts. The firm manages employee benefit plans for 35 of the Fortune 100 in the U.S., and manages retirement funds for public employees in 34 out of the 50 states. For individual investors, Alliance manages more than 100 mutual fund portfolios, which it markets through broker/dealers, financial advisers, banks, and insurance agents worldwide.
Alliance looks for "knowledgeable and hardworking" applicants. Qualifications and requirements vary by position. Send or fax resumes to human resources. Many of the firm's equity or fixed-income analyst or portfolio manager positions are in its New York offices. The firm's real estate, portfolio management, and trading staff numbers about 250 professionals, with more on the equity than fixed income side.
Hard at work, in uncomfortable clothes
Employees say dress is formal, but "not too conservative," with casual Fridays in the summer, except in New York. Earning "competitive pay," employees are generally expected to work 60-hour weeks, though "hours vary by department." Still, as one insider puts it: "The hours are reasonable, although overtime is expected without pay."
Some employees say "co-workers are generally okay," but criticize "upper-level bureaucracy" for "slow decision making." Other criticisms include a bad vacation policy, and a great year-end bonus that is based "more on corporate politics than merit." However, not all insiders agree with these assessments. Says one: "The people are extremely open, kind and fun to work with." Continues that contact: "The pay is excellent and commensurate with performance. If you work hard, you get ahead."
Variable annuities;Variable life insurance;Mutual funds
American International Group;Fidelity;T. Rowe Price;Vanguard Group
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