Wall Street giant AllianceBernstein, which moved its headquarters from New York City to Nashville four years ago, is reaping massive savings from the relocation — but some employees aren’t thrilled, according to a report.
The investment behemoth, with $685 billion under management, has moved over 1,000 jobs to the Tennessee capital — also known as the “bachelorette capital of the world” — anticipating a savings of $80 million in overhead and operational costs by 2025, according to a Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
AllianceBernstein’s stock has surged since the May 2018 announcement — up 113% compared with the S&P 500 which is up approximately 63% over the same time period.
While the company transplanted staff in operations, legal, technology, and compliance it allowed portfolio managers to stay in New York given most of their clients remain in the Big Apple.
The promise of an upscale, spacious headquarters with kombucha on tap, spin rooms, and yoga studios was enough to lure 250 staffers from New York — nearly 25% of the 1,050 workers AllianceBernstein planned for. The company has since revised that number upward to 1,250 and is 80% of the way to meeting that target.
Organic fermented tea hasn’t been the only draw — top executives got $4 million in stock awards for heading South.
But once the move was underway, the executives driving the relocation retired — leaving employees feel abandoned, according to the report. Chief operating officer James Gingrich — who was promised a $14 million stock award if he stayed through 2022 — abruptly announced his retirement in 2019.
Chief financial officer John Weisenseel and head of global client group Robert Keith, who both pushed for the move, announced their departures in 2020.
The executive departures left many employees feeling abandoned — and that their careers had stalled since the move. Other employees complained they couldn’t make the transition to living in a red state where mask mandates were lax and they worried about political issues like abortion rights.
Still, others are glad to be able to afford housing that’s more than 50% cheaper than in New York City and are enjoying their 10-minute commutes.
AllianceBernstein appears to have set a trend — major tech companies including Amazon and Oracle have revealed plans to open offices in the trendy Tennessee town.
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