Frontier Advisors has announced changes to the composition of its research practice in response to a shift in the interests of its institutional investor clients.
The firm said that the service areas of investment governance and responsible investment will now join its sector research program under director of sector research, Paul Newfield.
“There’s no doubt that both responsible investment and enhanced governance in investing are key areas of focus for asset owners,” said Frontier chief executive officer Andrew Polson.
“We think bringing our dedicated teams already working with clients in these areas directly into our research program will deliver further synergies and further integrate those insights and practices.”
Principal consultant Andrew Kemp will take on the new role of deputy director of research to support Mr Newfield while also leading the firm’s private markets research effort.
Iain McMahon will move into the new role of head of defensives and alternatives, and Sarah Cornelius will become head of investment governance. Additionally, Marie Cardaci has been promoted to deputy head of responsible investment.
Frontier noted that it had previously isolated alternatives as a standalone research team. However, as part of the restructure, the firm will bring the area under the umbrella of a broader defensives and alternatives group to create a larger team of aligned specialists.
Due to this change, former head of alternatives Michiel Swaak will depart Frontier.
Mr Polson said that merging the alternatives and defensive teams will deliver a “better holistic result with a bigger single team looking at a complete range of aligned investment ideas outside of the more traditional equities and real assets areas”.
“It’s also exciting to be able to give added responsibility and promote some of our team who have shown great capability and commitment for the firm and our clients over a number of years,” he added.
According to Mr Polson, these changes reflect the firm’s recently released five-year strategy as well as a shift in what institutional investor clients are looking for.
Frontier is planning to introduce an entry level pool of investment and data analysts to support its teams and take on some less-intensive work of its associate level staff.
The firm noted that it will continue to search for talent over the next year to build out its pool of analysts and add more senior capability to its research and client-consulting teams.
“We’re a people business. The quality of our team and the integrity of our unconflicted advice model is what our clients really value,” said Mr Polson.
“So, we have to be very selective in finding the right people to join our team. That includes cultural fit as well as intellectual capability and work ethic. We have a strong record of finding and developing talent and I’m looking forward to that process. It’s exciting.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.