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Industry Spotlight > Advisors

AllianceBernstein Expands Offerings for Advisors

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What You Need to Know

  • AllianceBernstein has teamed up with the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
  • The investment management firm also launched a new AB Digital Coach Diagnostic Tool for advisors.
  • The firm started using the Digital Coach with select advisors in May.

The investment management firm AllianceBernstein has expanded its initiatives for advisors, saying Tuesday that it created a practice management consultant program with the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and launched an AB Digital Coach Diagnostic Tool for advisors.

AB’s advanced solution set includes a proprietary advisor digital assessment tool set and a team of certified practice management consultants who have completed the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Practice Management Certificate program.

The accreditation consists of a three-part training module taught by the AB Advisor Institute and a capstone program taught by Vanderbilt faculty. Capstone topics are “taught around the client engagement model of a leading international consulting firm and psychological tenets of how humans construct beliefs and make decisions,” AB said in a statement.

AB regional managers, who work with advisors across the U.S., have already completed the program’s curriculum, which includes academic resources related to practice management and team building, it said.

AB consultants will use their training to guide advisors through personalized learning programs from the AB Advisor Institute, supporting advisors’ business goals, the firm said. By December, these managers are expected to have all earned the CPMC designation, it added.

Explaining why Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management wanted to participate in the joint certification program with AB, Jon Lehman, Owen’s faculty director for executive education, said in a statement: “Each organization brings unique content and perspective to provide financial advisors with the critical skills needed to be successful in today’s exceptionally dynamic market.”

AB pointed to a recent study published by FUSE Research Network that said more than 90% of advisors reported they considered practice management programs important.

To meet that demand, AB said it developed its new practice management solution set that includes the AB Digital Coach. The new, interactive diagnostic experience created for advisors enables them to identify their top-priority practice management opportunities, according to AB.

“By leveraging insights from behavioral finance and the AB Advisor Institute’s experience in practice management strategy, the Digital Coach provides advisors with a personalized learning plan designed to address issues and opportunities most pressing their clients, all in 10 minutes or less,” it said.

“AB created this comprehensive approach for advisors to better meet customer needs,” according to Mark Gessner, head of U.S. retail at AllianceBernstein. “Through our design process, we discovered that advisors require more support in prioritizing and implementing changes to their business strategy,” he said in the announcement.

“By analyzing trends in research and direct feedback, AB has built out a suite of solutions leveraging insights and data from our Advisor Institute’s 18-year history,” he added.

AB started using the Digital Coach with select advisors in May, it said. “Since inception, the tool has guided more than 200 advisors to their prioritized business needs and delivered hands-on training and engagement to more than 50% of those advisors,” it added.