Kate became chief operating officer of AllianceBernstein in July 2020, and in her role, she oversees all corporate functions of the downtown-based investment management firm. In 2021, she also took over as head of private wealth. Kate joined AB’s Bernstein Research division in 2004 and rose to senior vice president and managing director before becoming head of human capital and chief talent officer and, later, chief administrative officer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
How would you say your leadership style and strengths have evolved over time? I have really recognized and prioritized the value of “diversity of thought.” There is so much that can be brought to the table by hearing differing opinions. One of the things we take pride in at AllianceBernstein is the value we find in our employees with various backgrounds and experiences. We value that diversity — from our people to experiences — and believe it is something that makes our firm unique while also helping us prepare for the future.
Was there any advice that you received when you started that really stuck with you and inspired you? I believe there is a lot of value in a team mentality and sharing in success. [My mentor] taught me how far it goes to recognize great work and to encourage your employees when there are significant wins. I like to keep that team framework at the top of mind — how much a team can accomplish together is powerful.
What’s the most common piece of advice you find yourself giving other leaders or aspiring leaders? Opportunities that scare you or make you uncomfortable may be good for your career. Every “next” opportunity I have had has always made me uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Even if you fail or decide to alter your career trajectory or course, you have ultimately expanded your knowledge and expertise even further. That still counts as a success.
What advice would you give those looking to become an active mentor? I’ve found that there is so much power in time and encouragement. I truly believe in the “pay it forward” mindset. Taking time to mentor, support, encourage and guide young women has been incredibly rewarding for me. I always try to pay it forward however I can, since it comes down to women supporting other women, and that is what we need to keep in mind as we help the next round of future female leaders.