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Wall St. Acrobat

Peter Kraus lands on his feet as new CEO of Alliance-Bernstein.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. veteran Peter Kraus sure can land on his feet. After a three-month stint at Merrill Lynch & Co., Kraus, the bearded art aficionado, was named in December to replace legendary value investor Lewis Sanders as CEO of AllianceBernstein, the stumbling New York money management firm. Kraus stepped down as co-head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in March, joined Merrill in September to head strategy, then left after its acquisition by Bank of America. The 56-year-old’s mission is to fix AllianceBernstein’s investment process while convincing clients to keep their money at the $452 billion institution. From January 1 to November 30, 2008, the firm’s assets under management fell 44 percent, owing to a combination of market depreciation and net outflows — which were $21 million from January through September, according to recent SEC reports. "I don’t think I would describe the mission as salvage or recovery," says Kraus. "I would describe it as providing stability to the investment process in place."