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Alliance Bernstein

PRI reporting framework 2019

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Governance and human resources

SG 07. RI roles and responsibilities

07.1. Indicate the internal and/or external roles used by your organisation, and indicate for each whether they have oversight and/or implementation responsibilities for responsible investment.

Roles

Select from the below internal roles

          Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer
        

07.2. For the roles for which you have RI oversight/accountability or implementation responsibilities, indicate how you execute these responsibilities.

Our CEO is briefed on our responsible investment activities through one-on-one discussions and at partner meetings. In addition to one of our partners having firm-wide responsibility for oversight, our Heads of Fixed Income and Equities are also briefed and are key in driving our efforts within their respective business units. Our fundamental research analysts have primary responsibility for incorporating ESG factors into the research process. We believe bottom-up ESG integration in fundamental company research analysis is an important part of identifying investment risks, as well as opportunities. As such, within our separate asset-class-specific investment teams, CIOs/portfolio managers are responsible for overseeing the integration of ESG factors into our investment processes, and ensuring that potential ESG issues are appropriately identified, raised, researched, and addressed. Our responsible investment staff help to drive the implementation of our RI strategy. 

07.3. Indicate the number of dedicated responsible investment staff your organisation has.

22 Number

07.4. Additional information. [Optional]

When AllianceBernstein became a PRI signatory in November 2011, we created a formal management infrastructure for responsible investment (RI) leadership to drive our RI strategy and ensure commitment to, and a coordinated, consistent approach to, these issues across the firm. Since 2011, we have steadily increased our firm’s resource commitment in this important area. At the start of 2019, AllianceBernstein has the equivalent of approximately 15 full-time professionals focused on various aspects of ESG. These include:

Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer: Paul DeNoon, a Senior Vice President, is our firm’s Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer. In this role, Mr. DeNoon coordinates across AllianceBernstein to define and coordinate all of our Corporate Responsibility efforts as they relate to our clients, shareholders, employees, and communities. In this role, Mr. DeNoon also oversees our firm’s responsible investing platform, charged with driving and implementing AB’s responsible investment strategy and best-in-class approach to responsible investing across our firm. Mr. DeNoon works closely with both our Head of Responsible Investment (see below) and our fixed income and equity investment organizations to ensure best-in-class approaches and methodologies are being implemented consistently firm-wide.  

Head of Responsible Investment: Linda Giuliano, Senior Vice President, is our Head of Responsible Investment. She is also Chair of our Proxy Voting and Governance Committee and our Responsible Investment Committee. She dedicates all of her time to responsible investment-related activities, including working with Mr. DeNoon to continue to refine the firm's responsible investment strategy, enhancing AB's processes on ESG integration, and organizing the efforts, and leading both, of our Responsible Investment Committee and Proxy Voting and Governance Committee. She also organizes and administers ESG integration training, seminars and events at the firm. For example, we organized and co-hosted an event at AB called "ESG in Real Assets". Ms. Giuliano is involved in RI-related industry organizations and keeps abreast of responsible investment-related best practices and relevant industry trends. She is currently a member of ICGN’s Board Governance Committee and the PRI’s Global Policy Reference Group. She was formerly a member of the PRI’s Reporting and Assessment Committee and their Equity Working group, and CII’s Corporate Governance Advisory Council.  

Head of Corporate Governance and Proxy Voting Associates: We have a Global Head of Corporate Governance and  Proxy Voting Associates who are responsible for our firm’s proxy voting. Under the guidance of our Head of Responsible Investment and the Proxy and Governance Committee, our Global Head of Corporate Governance and Associates vote our proxies globally based on our in-house policy, implement other elements of our firm’s proxy voting, maintain and update our firm's proxy policies and procedures, and provides input to the portfolio teams on a variety of Governance-related issues.

Senior Investment Strategist, Responsible Investment: We have a client-facing Senior Investment Strategist who focuses on responsible investing. She regularly meets with AllianceBernstein’s clients, as well as prospects and consultants, to provide insight on AllianceBernstein’s responsible investing initiatives and approach. She is also an expert on our value equity portfolios and research approaches. She works closely with our Head of Responsible Investment on product development and thought leadership.

Dedicated ESG Analysts: We maintain dedicated ESG Analysts to work with our equity investment teams to identify trends, themes and case studies and to assist with all aspects of ESG integration and monitoring. They provide input to the portfolio teams on a variety of ESG-related issues, and design and implement ongoing RI training programs for AllianceBernstein employees. These analysts also handle a range of other RI projects, including coordinating AllianceBernstein’s PRI Report each year. One of the analysts is a member of both our Responsible Investment Committee and our Proxy Voting and Governance Committee. 

Summary of Dedicated Resources: In addition to their specific functions outlined above, our Responsible Investing team also maintains our firm’s ESG engagement framework. Collectively, they speak regularly with AllianceBernstein’s clients, prospects, and consultants regarding Responsible Investing. They also conduct numerous training sessions for AllianceBernstein staff on a variety of RI/ESG topics. While these dedicated resources provide valuable guidance to our investment teams, we note again that ESG integration in client portfolios remains the primary responsibility of all portfolio managers and analysts at AllianceBernstein.

Some portfolio managers/analysts are ESG-Focused: we have certain portfolio managers and analysts within our investment organizations who, given their research and management roles on certain ESG-focused strategies and funds, can be considered ESG-focused resources as well. These include: 

  • The portfolio manager and analysts who work on AllianceBernstein’s Next 50 Frontier Markets Strategy/Fund can be considered the equivalent of four full-time employees (FTEs) to ESG.  
  • The portfolio manager and analysts who work on AllianceBernstein’s Sustainable Global Thematic Strategy/Fund can be considered the equivalent of two full-time employees (FTEs) to ESG.
  • We have an ESG Analyst on our Large Cap Growth Team.
  • The portfolio manager who manages our Municipal Impact Strategy can be considered the equivalent of one full-time employee (FTE) to ESG.
  • The CIO, senior portfolio manager and associate who work on AllianceBernstein's RE-USE Strategy/Fund can be considered the equivalent of two full-time employees (FTEs) to ESG.
  • The CIO, portfolio managers and analysts who work on AllianceBernstein's Global Improvers and Green Alpha Strategies/Funds can be considered the equivalent of three full-time employees (FTEs) to ESG. 
  •  Additionally, we have other portfolio managers, research analysts, and risk managers within our fixed income organization who work together to support ESG integration across all fixed income portfolios. Taken together, we consider this the equivalent of one full-time employee (FTE) to ESG. 
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SG 07 CC. Climate-issues roles and responsibilities

07.5 CC. Indicate the roles in the organisation that have oversight, accountability and/or management responsibilities for climate-related issues.

Board members or trustees

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Investment Committee

Other Chief-level staff or head of department

Portfolio managers

Investment analysts

Dedicated responsible investment staff

07.7 CC. For the management-level roles that assess and manage climate-related issues, provide further information on the structure and process involved.

Our CIOs and portfolio managers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that climate-related issues are addressed by the analysts. Our analysts evaluate climate-related issues as part of their research assessment, focusing on each company's climate strategy, the political and regulatory backdrop, potential environmental liabilities and greenhouse gas emissions. Several of our CIOs seek investment opportunities in companies that are focusing on addressing climate issues, including investing in renewable energy and projects to support a low carbon economy. 

07.8 CC. Explain how the organisation engages external investment managers on the TCFD recommendations and its implementation.


SG 08. RI in performance management, reward and/or personal development

08.1. Indicate if your organisation’s performance management, reward and/or personal development processes have a responsible investment element.

Board members/Board of trustees

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Investment Officer (CIO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Investment Committee

08.1a. RI in objectives, appraisal and/or reward

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

Other C-level staff or head of department

          Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer
        

08.1a. RI in objectives, appraisal and/or reward

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

Portfolio managers

08.1a. RI in objectives, appraisal and/or reward

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

Investment analysts

08.1a. RI in objectives, appraisal and/or reward

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

Dedicated responsible investment staff

08.1a. RI in objectives, appraisal and/or reward

08.1b. RI in personal development and/or training plan

08.3. Provide any additional information on your organisation’s performance management, reward and/or personal development processes in relation to responsible investment.

At AB, all of our analysts - both equity and fixed income -- are evaluated based on a variety of factors. Investment performance in client portfolios is the primary factor, along with other qualitative factors. As discussed in more detail elsewhere in this document, all AB analysts include ESG factors in their research processes. Thus, by the nature of their inclusion, ESG factors are reflected in our firm's performance management process.

In addition to that, the extent to which performance management, reward and/or personal development processes have a responsible investment element may vary per investment strategy. For our investment strategies that go beyond ESG integration, the element may be larger. 


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