Frontier Advisors has been ranked strongly — again — among asset consultants in a recently completed independent survey of Australian institutional investors, albeit this year sharing top spot with Willis Towers Watson.
The highly regarded Peter Lee Associates Investment Management survey collated the thoughts and opinions of around one hundred Chief Investment Officers, Chief Executive Officers and other leading Australian institutional investors. The annual study comprises a series of individual interviews with respondents asked their opinions and experiences in relation to a series of aspects around the services and capabilities of asset consulting firms, such as consultant capability, quality of research and advice and fees and performance.
Frontier was ranked first in nine of fourteen categories examined by the study – the fifth year in a row the firm has dominated results across the full range of the survey. In the all-important Relationship Strength Index (RSI), which effectively sums and weights the most important attributes respondents rate in their asset consultant, Frontier this year shared the number one RSI ranking with Willis Towers Watson. WTW actually had a slightly higher point score in 2020, however statistical rounding awards an equal first measure for Frontier given the narrow margin (0.89%).
Managing Director of Peter Lee Associates Sandhya Chand observed a shift in this year’s results as the sector has re-shaped over recent years. “There has been more movement of investors between advisors in recent years than we have seen before. There is also a growing divergence in the types of investors we now talk to and asset consultants are having to adjust to a range of needs and client types. The discussions we had this year reflect the fact investors want proactive and tailored engagement from their advisors. One size fits all advice simply won’t cut it in this market anymore.”
“The strong results Frontier has achieved over the last five years show the firm has responded to this shift. In particular, the capability of their consultants and their technology solutions have again resonated well with investors this year”, said Ms Chand.
Frontier CEO Andrew Polson agrees. “Our client base has evolved enormously in recent years, and it’s the same for all the major consulting firms. Indeed, almost half of our clients now come from outside the superannuation arena and two thirds have portfolios that are sub $5 billion. Frontier has re-calibrated our approach to facilitate ways to work with our clients by using technology as a support to personalised and tailored service that fits the needs and unique environment of each business we work with.”
“It’s pleasing to again receive such strong feedback about our proposition and approach from investors. We are excited to be able to maintain a leading rank across so many of the categories reviewed, particularly in the areas of consultant capability and quality of service, where Frontier has stood alone in first place for six consecutive years. Most importantly though, we simply remain focussed on providing the best advice, research and support that we can to our clients, particularly in the current environment” Mr Polson said.
The findings support other recognition earned by the firm, such as being named Selecting Super’s 2019 Asset Consultant of the Year and a doubling of its client numbers over the last three years.
Frontier “number one” results for 2020:
Relationship Strength Index – (1)
Capability of consultant – 1
Quality of service – 1
Domestic manager research – 1
Portfolio performance – 1
Performance against benchmarks – (1)
Digital research database – 1
Digital analytical tools – 1
Reasonable fees – 1
Net Promoter Score – 1