Before joining Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. as an Internet analyst in 2010, ­Carlos Kirjner-­Neto enjoyed success in not one but three fields of professional endeavor. He spent nearly a decade as a technology and telecommunications industry consultant with McKinsey & Co. in New York; then directed business development at ­Vodafone Group, a multinational telecom giant headquartered in the U.K., and at Sunnyvale, ­California–based software developer Telegent Systems; and finally in 2009 was tapped by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to help create a national broadband plan.

Kirjner-Neto’s impressive résumé — he also holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of ­California, ­Berkeley — caught the eye of talent scouts at ­Bernstein, which hires established consultants and industry experts and trains them to become equity analysts rather than enticing researchers away from other sell-side firms or promoting from within its own ranks.

“It’s really about finding great people and facilitating them,” says New York–based Daniel Dowd, director of equity research. “It’s not like ­Bernstein makes them stars. We provide the platform for great people to become stars.”

Money managers agree. Each year when Institutional Investor asks buy-­siders to indicate who among their sell-side counterparts merits inclusion on the All-­America Research Team, we also ask them to identify the Rising Stars of Wall Street Research — analysts who have been publishing research for less than three years but already appear destined for greatness. Five of the nine Bernstein analysts who were dubbed Rising Stars in 2011 have risen to the 2012 team.

What about this year? ­Morgan Stanley leads the lineup, with eight of its analysts considered among the best up-and-­comers. ­Bernstein lands in second place, with seven Rising Stars. (Last year these two firms shared the top spot; two of Morgan Stanley’s 2011 stars have advanced to the 2012 team.) Barclays, which tied for 15th place last year, rockets to share the third tier with Credit Suisse, which jumps from No. 6. These banks are home to five standout analysts each — for Barclays that is a net increase of four; for Credit Suisse a gain of two.

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