Peter Kraus, AllianceBernstein’s chief executive, flew to Sydney on the company’s corporate jet last week to celebrate 20 years in Australia.

On the face of it Kraus had little to celebrate. The firm in Australia has lost more than half its funds under management in the last three years. Staff numbers have fallen about 40 per cent during the same time.

“There is no secret we have lost mandates but we’ve also won some,” says Ross Kent, senior managing director for institutional relationships at AllianceBernstein Australia Ltd. “The staff meetings and client meetings Peter Kraus had were very positive.”

Kent declined to give specific numbers on funds under management or staff numbers. Globally AllianceBernstein’s institutional assets under management have dropped to US$255 billion as of June, from $500 billion as of June 2007.

“We are very focused on restoring our performance track record predominantly in equities and client confidence,” says Kent. “We do want to diversify our business which was very heavy skewed toward global equities to fixed income and other new products.”

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