Innovative Firms


What started out as a virtual assistant to do the grunt work of building trade orders has turned into a tool with tremendous impact for AB (formerly known as AllianceBernstein). The trading bot, known as Abbie, has been steadily expanding its capabilities since its launch in January  2018. It now builds 70% of fixed-income trades.

Additional tasks grew from the simple (uploading bulk orders, screening portfolios’ asset exposure, issuing alerts) to the complex (surveying the investable universe and scanning AB’s quant and fundamentals research platforms). Taking it to an even higher level, Abbie synthesizes this vast array of information to suggest investments.

The time savings has been dramatic, as trades that once took 40 minutes to execute now take seconds. This enables rapid engagement in the market, prevents price slippage and frees up time for portfolio managers and others to trade ideas, make client calls and prepare presentations, etc., said Jim Switzer, AB’s head of fixed-income trading.

“Abbie ties all our tools together and allows the human elements [to decide] ‘Where do we go from here?’”

– Deborah Nason