Exclusive: AllianceBernstein lending biz to open in Austin

 Some of the firm’s mid-market lending group is moving to Texas and is also recruiting for new hires there.  

The Private Credit Investors group at AllianceBernstein, which was formed earlier this year in New York with several executives from Barclays, is planning to set up shop in Austin next year. It’s not clear how many of the five lending team members will be moving there and AllianceBernstein declined to comment. Investment firms or teams that move to Austin from either of the coasts often cite better weather than New York and better corporate taxes than either New York or California as reasons.

Sources tell PDI the firm has been recruiting for senior and junior positions in the area. The firm’s job postings on various career websites say the staffers would be located in New York until the Austin office is formally launched in the summer of 2015. According to job posts over the last two months, the firm is seeking vice presidents and associates for the Austin office in the Private Credit Investors group. One of the postings reads that the group was formed in April “with a mandate to grow into a multi-billion dollar private credit investing platform.”

The group invests in mid-market companies across various industry sectors. It pursues a flexible investment strategy and participates in first lien, second lien, unitranche, and mezzanine debt transactions, as well as structured preferred stock and private equity co-investments. The group works on private equity sponsored deals, as well as unsponsored ones. 

The AllianceBernstein mid-market lending group was formed in the spring when the asset manager brought on a group of five led by Brent Humphries from Barcalys’ Private Credit Partners group, which was sold last year. Jay Ramakrishnan, Patrick Fear, Shishir Agrawal and Wesley Raper were the other individuals that joined AB from Barclays along with Humphries. 

The firm also recently started building an infrastructure debt business by hiring several experts from AMP Capital earlier this year. 

AllianceBernstein is headquartered in New York and handles $477 billion in a variety of traditional and alternative strategies for institutional and retail investors. The firm already has offices in other Texas cities: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. Those are staffed with AB’s Global Wealth Management people.