QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended June 30, 2019
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File No. 000-29961
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10105
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer o
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer x
Smaller reporting company o
Emerging growth company o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements
June 30, 2019
The words “we” and “our” refer collectively to AllianceBernstein L.P. and its subsidiaries (“AB”), or to their officers and employees. Similarly, the word “company” refers to AB. These statements should be read in conjunction with AB’s audited consolidated financial statements included in AB’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.
1. Business Description Organization and Basis of Presentation
We provide research, diversified investment management and related services globally to a broad range of clients. Our principal services include:
Institutional Services – servicing our institutional clients, including private and public pension plans, foundations and endowments, insurance companies, central banks and governments worldwide, and affiliates such as AXA S.A. ("AXA"), AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. ("EQH") and their respective subsidiaries, by means of separately-managed accounts, sub-advisory relationships, structured products, collective investment trusts, mutual funds, hedge funds and other investment vehicles.
Retail Services – servicing our retail clients, primarily by means of retail mutual funds sponsored by AB or an affiliated company, sub-advisory relationships with mutual funds sponsored by third parties, separately-managed account programs sponsored by financial intermediaries worldwide and other investment vehicles.
Private Wealth Management Services – servicing our private clients, including high-net-worth individuals and families, trusts and estates, charitable foundations, partnerships, private and family corporations, and other entities, by means of separately-managed accounts, hedge funds, mutual funds and other investment vehicles.
Bernstein Research Services – servicing institutional investors, such as pension fund, hedge fund and mutual fund managers, seeking high-quality fundamental research, quantitative services and brokerage-related services in equities and listed options.
We also provide distribution, shareholder servicing, transfer agency services and administrative services to the mutual funds we sponsor.
Our high-quality, in-depth research is the foundation of our business. Our research disciplines include economic, fundamental equity, fixed income and quantitative research. In addition, we have experts focused on multi-asset strategies, wealth management and alternative investments.
We provide a broad range of investment services with expertise in:
Actively-managed equity strategies, with global and regional portfolios across capitalization ranges, concentration ranges and investment strategies, including value, growth and core equities;
•Actively-managed traditional and unconstrained fixed income strategies, including taxable and tax-exempt strategies;
•Passive management, including index and enhanced index strategies;
Alternative investments, including hedge funds, fund of funds and private equity (e.g., direct lending); and
•Multi-asset solutions and services, including dynamic asset allocation, customized target-date funds and target-risk funds.
Our services span various investment disciplines, including market capitalization (e.g., large-, mid- and small-cap equities), term (e.g., long-, intermediate- and short-duration debt securities), and geographic location (e.g., U.S., international, global, emerging markets, regional and local), in major markets around the world.
During the second quarter of 2018, AXA completed the sale of a minority stake in EQH through an initial public offering ("IPO"). Since then, AXA has completed additional offerings, most recently during the second quarter of 2019. As a result, AXA owned 40.1% of the outstanding common stock of EQH as of June 30, 2019. As part of the latest offering, the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option resulting in AXA owning 38.9% of EQH as of July 8, 2019. AXA has announced its intention to sell its entire remaining interest in EQH over time, subject to market conditions and other factors. AXA is under no obligation to do so and retains the sole discretion to determine the timing of any future sales of shares of EQH common stock.
As of June 30, 2019, EQH owned approximately 4.2% of the issued and outstanding units representing assignments of beneficial ownership of limited partnership interests in AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (“AB Holding Units”). AllianceBernstein Corporation (an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of EQH, “General Partner”) is the general partner of both AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (“AB Holding”) and AB. AllianceBernstein Corporation owns 100,000 general partnership units in AB Holding and a 1% general partnership interest in AB.
As of June 30, 2019, the ownership structure of AB, including limited partnership units outstanding as well as the general partner's 1% interest, was as follows:
EQH and its subsidiaries
Including both the general partnership and limited partnership interests in AB Holding and AB, EQH and its subsidiaries had an approximate 65.2% economic interest in AB as of June 30, 2019.
Basis of Presentation
The interim condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the instructions to Form 10-Q pursuant to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In the opinion of management, all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair statement of the interim results, have been made. The preparation of the condensed consolidated financial statements requires management to make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the dates of the condensed consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the interim reporting periods. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The condensed consolidated statement of financial condition as of December 31, 2018 was derived from audited financial statements, but does not include all disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”).
Principles of Consolidation
The condensed consolidated financial statements include AB and its majority-owned and/or controlled subsidiaries, and the consolidated entities that are considered to be variable interest entities (“VIEs”) and voting interest entities (“VOEs”) in which AB has a controlling financial interest. Non-controlling interests on the condensed consolidated statements of financial condition include the portion of consolidated company-sponsored investment funds in which we do not have direct equity ownership. All significant inter-company transactions and balances among the consolidated entities have been eliminated.
During 2019, prior period amounts for revenues related to our middle market lending business have been reclassified from other revenues to investment advisory fees in the condensed consolidated statements of income to conform to the current period's presentation.
During 2019, prior period amounts for research and miscellaneous fees related to our brokers dealers previously presented as changes in other assets are now presented as changes in receivables; and certain income taxes payable and receivable as
well as deferred tax assets and liabilities previously presented as changes in payables are now presented as changes in other assets in the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows to conform to the current period's presentation.
Significant Accounting Policies
Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued ASU 2016-02, Leases. This pronouncement, along with subsequent ASUs issued to clarify certain provisions of ASU 2016-02 is now referred to as Accounting Standards Codification 842 ("ASC 842"). The standard requires a lessee to record most leases on its balance sheet while also disclosing key information about those lease arrangements. The classification criteria to distinguish between finance and operating leases are generally consistent with the classification criteria to distinguish between capital and operating leases under previous lease accounting guidance. We adopted this new standard on January 1, 2019 using the modified retrospective method. Prior comparable periods will not be adjusted under this method.
We applied several practical expedients offered by ASC 842 upon adoption of this standard. These included continuing to account for existing leases based on judgments made under legacy GAAP as it relates to determining classification of leases, unamortized initial direct costs and whether contracts are leases or contain leases. We also used a practical expedient to use hindsight in determining the lease terms (using knowledge and expectations as of the standard's adoption date instead of the previous assumptions under legacy GAAP) and evaluating impairment of our right-of-use assets in the transition period (using our most up-to-date information).
Adoption of this standard resulted in the recording of operating right-of-use assets and lease liabilities of $438.7 million and $574.5 million, respectively, and financing right-of-use assets and lease liabilities of $2.4 million as of January 1, 2019. The operating right-of-use assets recognized as of January 1, 2019 are net of deferred rent of $50.0 million and liabilities associated with previously recognized impairments of $85.8 million. See Note 13, Leases, for additional disclosures.
In February 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-02, Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, which permits a company to reclassify the disproportionate income tax effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act ("2017 Tax Act") on items within Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income ("AOCI") to retained earnings. The FASB refers to these amounts as "stranded tax effects." The ASU also requires certain new disclosures, some of which are applicable for all companies. We adopted this standard on January 1, 2019. The adoption of this standard had no impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
Accounting Pronouncements Not Yet Adopted in 2019
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326). This new guidance relates to the accounting for credit losses on financial instruments. The new guidance introduces an approach based on expected losses to estimate credit losses on certain types of financial instruments. It also modifies the impairment model for available-for-sale debt securities and provides for a simplified accounting model for purchased financial assets with credit deterioration since their origination. The new guidance is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. Management currently is evaluating the impact that adoption of this standard will have on our financial condition and results of operations.
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. The guidance removes Step 2 of the goodwill impairment test, which requires a hypothetical purchase price allocation. As a result of the revised guidance, a goodwill impairment will be the amount by which a reporting unit's carrying value exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill. The new guidance is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and will be applied prospectively. The revised guidance is not expected to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement. The amendment modifies the disclosure requirements for fair value measurements by removing, modifying or adding certain disclosures. The revised guidance is effective for all companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within those years. Companies are permitted to early adopt any eliminated or modified disclosure requirements and delay adoption of the additional disclosure requirements until their effective date. The removed and modified disclosures will be adopted on a retrospective basis and the new disclosures will be adopted on a prospective basis. The revised guidance is not expected to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-14, Compensation - Retirement Benefits - Defined Benefit Plans - General (Topic 715-20). The amendment modifies the disclosure requirements for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension or other post-retirement plans. The revised guidance is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2020, with early adoption permitted. The revised guidance is not expected to have a material impact on our financial condition or results of operations.
We determine if an arrangement is a lease at inception. Both operating and finance leases are included in the right-of-use (“ROU”) assets and lease liabilities in our condensed consolidated statement of financial condition.
ROU assets represent our right to use an underlying asset for the lease term and lease liabilities represent our obligation to make lease payments arising from the lease. ROU assets and lease liabilities are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term. We use our incremental borrowing rate based on the information available as of the date we adopted ASC 842 in determining the present value of lease payments. Our lease terms may include options to extend or terminate the lease. These options to extend or terminate are assessed on a lease-by-lease basis, and the ROU assets and lease liabilities are adjusted when it is reasonably certain that an option will be exercised.
When calculating the measurement of ROU assets and lease liabilities, we utilize the fixed payments associated with the lease and do not include other variable contractual obligations, such as operating expenses, real estate taxes and employee parking. These costs are accounted for as period costs and expensed as incurred.
Additionally, we exclude any intangible assets such as software licensing agreements as stated in ASC 842-10-15-1. These arrangements will continue to follow the guidance of ASC 350, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other.
Revenues for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2018 consisted of the following:
Three Months Ended June 30,
Six Months Ended June 30,
Subject to contracts with customers:
Investment advisory and services fees
Bernstein research services
Shareholder servicing fees
Not subject to contracts with customers:
Dividend and interest income, net of interest
Investment gains (losses)
Total net revenues
Long-term Incentive Compensation Plans
We maintain several unfunded, non-qualified long-term incentive compensation plans, under which we grant annual awards to employees, generally in the fourth quarter, and to members of the Board of Directors of the General Partner, who are not employed by our company or by any of our affiliates (“Eligible Directors”).
We fund our restricted AB Holding Unit awards either by purchasing AB Holding Units on the open market or purchasing newly-issued AB Holding Units from AB Holding, and then keeping all of these AB Holding Units in a consolidated rabbi trust until delivering them or retiring them. In accordance with the Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of AB (“AB Partnership Agreement”), when AB purchases newly-issued AB Holding Units from AB Holding, AB Holding is required to use the proceeds it receives from AB to purchase the equivalent number of newly-issued AB Units, thus increasing its percentage ownership interest in AB. AB Holding Units held in the consolidated rabbi trust are corporate assets in the name of the trust and are available to the general creditors of AB.
During the six months ended June 30, 2019, we purchased 2.0 million AB Holding Units for $58.6 million (on a trade date basis). As there were no open-market purchases during the second quarter of 2019, these amounts reflect open-market purchases of 1.9 million AB Holding Units for $55.2 million during the three months ended March 31, 2019, with the remainder relating to purchases of AB Holding Units from employees to allow them to fulfill statutory tax withholding requirements at the time of delivery of long-term incentive compensation awards. During the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, AB purchased approximately 1.2 million and 1.2 million AB Holding Units for $32.9 million and $35.2 million, respectively (on a trade date basis). These amounts reflect open-market purchases of 1.2 million AB Holding Units for $32.9 million during the second quarter of 2018 with the remainder relating to purchases of AB Holding Units from employees to allow them to fulfill statutory tax withholding requirements at the time of delivery of long-term incentive compensation awards. Purchases of AB Holding
Units reflected on the condensed consolidated statements of cash flows are net of AB Holding Unit purchases by employees as part of a distribution reinvestment election.
Each quarter, we consider whether to implement a plan to repurchase AB Holding Units pursuant to Rules 10b5-1 and 10b-18 under the Exchange Act. A plan of this type allows a company to repurchase its shares at times when it otherwise might be prevented from doing so because of self-imposed trading blackout periods or because it possesses material non-public information. Each broker we select has the authority under the terms and limitations specified in the plan to repurchase AB Holding Units on our behalf in accordance with the terms of the plan. Repurchases are subject to regulations promulgated by the SEC as well as certain price, market volume and timing constraints specified in the plan. There was no plan adopted during the first or second quarter of 2019. We may adopt additional plans in the future to engage in open-market purchases of AB Holding Units to help fund anticipated obligations under our incentive compensation award program and for other corporate purposes.
During the first six months of 2019 and 2018, we granted to employees and Eligible Directors 1.7 million and 2.4 million restricted AB Holding Unit awards, respectively. We used AB Holding Units repurchased during the periods and newly-issued AB Holding Units to fund these awards.
During the first six months of 2019 and 2018, AB Holding issued 0.4 million and 0.5 million AB Holding Units, respectively, upon exercise of options to buy AB Holding Units. AB Holding used the proceeds of $9.0 million and $8.3 million, respectively, received from employees as payment in cash for the exercise price to purchase the equivalent number of newly-issued AB Units.
Net Income per Unit
Basic net income per unit is derived by reducing net income for the 1% general partnership interest and dividing the remaining 99% by the basic weighted average number of limited partnership units outstanding for each period. Diluted net income per unit is derived by reducing net income for the 1% general partnership interest and dividing the remaining 99% by the total of the diluted weighted average number of limited partnership units outstanding for each period.
Three Months Ended June 30,
Six Months Ended June 30,
(in thousands, except per unit amounts)
Net income attributable to AB Unitholders
Weighted average limited partnership units outstanding – basic
Dilutive effect of compensatory options to buy AB Holding Units
Weighted average limited partnership units outstanding – diluted
Basic net income per AB Unit
Diluted net income per AB Unit
For both the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, we excluded 29,056 options from the diluted net income computation due to their anti-dilutive effect. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 , we excluded 850,155 options and 1,211,906 options, respectively, from the diluted net income computation due to their anti-dilutive effect.
6. Cash Distributions
AB is required to distribute all of its Available Cash Flow, as defined in the AB Partnership Agreement, to its Unitholders and to the General Partner. Available Cash Flow can be summarized as the cash flow received by AB from operations minus such amounts as the General Partner determines, in its sole discretion, should be retained by AB for use in its business, or plus such amounts as the General Partner determines, in its sole discretion, should be released from previously retained cash flow.
Typically, Available Cash Flow has been the adjusted diluted net income per unit for the quarter multiplied by the number of general and limited partnership interests at the end of the quarter. In future periods, management anticipates that Available
Cash Flow will be based on adjusted diluted net income per unit, unless management determines, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, that one or more adjustments that are made for adjusted net income should not be made with respect to the Available Cash Flow calculation.
On July 25, 2019, the General Partner declared a distribution of $0.63 per AB Unit, representing a distribution of Available Cash Flow for the three months ended June 30, 2019. The General Partner, as a result of its 1% general partnership interest, is entitled to receive 1% of each distribution. The distribution is payable on August 22, 2019 to holders of record on August 5, 2019.
Cash and Securities Segregated Under Federal Regulations and Other Requirements
As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, of U.S. Treasury Bills were segregated in a special reserve bank custody account for the exclusive benefit of our brokerage customers under Rule 15c3-3 of the Exchange Act.
Investments consist of:
June 30, 2019
December 31, 2018
U.S. Treasury Bills
Long-term incentive compensation-related
Investments in limited partnership hedge funds:
Long-term incentive compensation-related
Total investments related to long-term incentive compensation obligations of $48.9 million and $52.4 million as of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively, consist of company-sponsored mutual funds and hedge funds. For long-term incentive compensation awards granted before 2009, we typically made investments in company-sponsored mutual funds and hedge funds that were notionally elected by plan participants and maintained them (and continue to maintain them) in a consolidated rabbi trust or separate custodial account. The rabbi trust and custodial account enable us to hold such investments separate from our other assets for the purpose of settling our obligations to participants. The investments held in the rabbi trust and custodial account remain available to the general creditors of AB.
The underlying investments of the hedge funds in which we invest include long and short positions in equity securities, fixed income securities (including various agency and non-agency asset-based securities), currencies, commodities and derivatives (including various swaps and forward contracts). These investments are valued at quoted market prices or, where quoted market prices are not available, are fair valued based on the pricing policies and procedures of the underlying funds.
We allocate seed capital to our investment teams to help develop new products and services for our clients. A portion of our seed capital investments are equity and fixed income products, primarily in the form of separately-managed account portfolios, U.S. mutual funds, Luxembourg funds, Japanese investment trust management funds or Delaware business trusts. We also may allocate seed capital to investments in private equity funds. In regard to our seed capital investments, the amounts above reflect those funds in which we are not the primary beneficiary of a VIE or hold a controlling financial interest in a VOE. See Note 14, Consolidated Company-Sponsored Investment Funds, for a description of the seed capital investments that we consolidate. As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, our total seed capital investments were $398.9 million and $391.6 million, respectively. Seed capital investments in unconsolidated company-sponsored investment funds are valued using
published net asset values or non-published net asset values if they are not listed on an active exchange but have net asset values that are comparable to funds with published net asset values and have no redemption restrictions.
In addition, we also have long positions in corporate equities and long exchange-traded options traded through our options desk.
The portion of unrealized gains (losses) related to equity securities, as defined by ASC 321-10, held as of June 30, 2019 and 2018 were as follows:
Three Months Ended June 30,
Six Months Ended June 30,
Net gains recognized during the period
Less: net gains (losses) recognized during the period on equity securities sold during the period
Unrealized gains recognized during the period on equity securities held
See Note 14, Consolidated Company-Sponsored Investment Funds, for disclosure of derivative instruments held by our consolidated company-sponsored investment funds.
We enter into various futures, forwards, options and swaps to economically hedge certain seed capital investments. Also, we have currency forwards that help us to economically hedge certain balance sheet exposures. In addition, our options desk trades long and short exchange-traded equity options. We do not hold any derivatives designated in a formal hedge relationship under ASC 815-10, Derivatives and Hedging.
The notional value and fair value as of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018 for derivative instruments (excluding derivative instruments relating to our options desk trading activities discussed below) not designated as hedging instruments were as follows:
As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the derivative assets and liabilities are included in both receivables and payables to brokers and dealers on our condensed consolidated statements of financial condition.
The gains and losses for derivative instruments (excluding our options desk trading activities discussed below) for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2018 recognized in investment gains (losses) in the condensed consolidated statements of income were as follows:
Three Months Ended June 30,
Six Months Ended June 30,
Interest rate swaps
Credit default swaps
Total return swaps
Net (losses) gains on derivative instruments
We may be exposed to credit-related losses in the event of nonperformance by counterparties to derivative financial instruments. We minimize our counterparty exposure through a credit review and approval process. In addition, we have executed various collateral arrangements with counterparties to the over-the-counter derivative transactions that require both pledging and accepting collateral in the form of cash. As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we held $0.3 million and $4.8 million, respectively, of cash collateral payable to trade counterparties. This obligation to return cash is reported in payables to brokers and dealers in our condensed consolidated statements of financial condition.
Although notional amount is the most commonly used measure of volume in the derivative market, it is not used as a measure of credit risk. Generally, the current credit exposure of our derivative contracts is limited to the net positive estimated fair value of derivative contracts at the reporting date after taking into consideration the existence of netting agreements and any collateral received. A derivative with positive value (a derivative asset) indicates existence of credit risk because the counterparty would owe us if the contract were closed. Alternatively, a derivative contract with negative value (a derivative liability) indicates we would owe money to the counterparty if the contract were closed. Generally, if there is more than one derivative transaction with a single counterparty, a master netting arrangement exists with respect to derivative transactions with that counterparty to provide for aggregate net settlement.
Certain of our standardized contracts for over-the-counter derivative transactions (“ISDA Master Agreements”) contain credit risk related contingent provisions pertaining to each counterparty’s credit rating. In some ISDA Master Agreements, if the counterparty’s credit rating, or in some agreements, our assets under management (“AUM”), falls below a specified threshold, either a default or a termination event permitting the counterparty to terminate the ISDA Master Agreement would be triggered. In all agreements that provide for collateralization, various levels of collateralization of net liability positions are applicable, depending on the credit rating of the counterparty. As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we delivered $6.9 million and $4.5 million, respectively, of cash collateral into brokerage accounts. We report this cash collateral in cash and cash equivalents in our condensed consolidated statements of financial condition.
As of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we held $2.3 million and $2.6 million, respectively, of long exchange-traded equity options, which are included in other investments on our condensed consolidated statements of financial condition. In addition, as of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we held $2.2 million and $3.8 million, respectively, of short exchange-traded equity options, which are included in securities sold not yet purchased on our condensed consolidated statements of financial condition. Our options desk provides our clients with equity derivative strategies and execution for exchange-traded options on single stocks, exchange-traded funds and indices. While predominately agency-based, the options desk may commit capital to facilitate a client’s transaction. Our options desk hedges the risks associated with this activity by taking offsetting positions in equities. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2019, we recognized $3.5 million and $11.1 million, respectively, of losses on equity option activity. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2018, we recognized $4.7 million and $8.9 million, respectively, of losses on equity options activity. These losses are recognized in investment gains (losses) in the condensed consolidated statements of income.
See Note 14, Consolidated Company-Sponsored Investment Funds, for disclosure of fair value of our consolidated company-sponsored investment funds.
Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability (i.e., the “exit price”) in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. The three broad levels of fair value hierarchy are as follows:
• Level 1 – Quoted prices in active markets are available for identical assets or liabilities as of the reported date.
Level 2 – Quoted prices in markets that are not active or other pricing inputs that are either directly or indirectly observable as of the reported date.
Level 3 – Prices or valuation techniques that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable as of the reported date. These financial instruments do not have two-way markets and are measured using management’s best estimate of fair value, where the inputs into the determination of fair value require significant management judgment or estimation.
Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Recurring Basis
Valuation of our financial instruments by pricing observability levels as of June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018 was as follows (in thousands):