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December 21, 2016  

AllianceBernstein Forms New Fund Operation

AllianceBernstein is setting up a multi-strategy hedge fund division.

The effort follows the collapse of a deal that would have seen AllianceBernstein take over management of a multi-strategy fund from the ill-fated Visium Asset Management. The new operation would be called AB Arya Partners, according to paperwork submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

An SEC filing indicates AllianceBernstein has begun marketing U.S.-domiciled and offshore versions of a vehicle called AB Arya Partners Fund. A job listing for an administrative assistant on the firm’s website notes that AB Arya’s staff so far includes nine portfolio managers and two analysts.

Among those already on board is Suzanne Chisena, who shifted to a post as a multi-strategy business analyst from an associate portfolio manager slot elsewhere at AllianceBernstein. She arrived in 2015, following a stint at Credit Suisse.

AB Arya apparently would allocate capital among portfolio managers who would remain largely autonomous. Details remain scant, with the firm noting in its job listing that the operation would employ a research-based approach to generating returns with low volatility and minimal market exposure in comparison to unhedged long-only portfolios.

AllianceBernstein’s deal with Visium would have entailed the rescue of a vehicle called Visium Global that had $3 billion under management early this year, with the rest of Visium’s funds unwinding amid a federal securities probe. But the arrangement fell apart in June — possibly due to the exits of Visium Global limited partners including Citigroup and Lyxor Asset Management — prompting Visium chief Jacob Gottlieb to begin shuttering his once-$7.8 billion firm.

As Visium’s former employees moved on to new jobs, portfolio manager Jay Suchotliff signed on with AllianceBernstein in September. It’s unclear if he is involved with AB Arya.

AllianceBernstein had $467 billion under management at yearend 2015, including $3 billion of hedge fund assets.