Robert Miller Title: Managing Principal Years with present firm: 20 Years in financial services: 20 Investment focus: Downside First Focus
Asset Management Firm: Frontier Asset Management Firm’s headquarters: Sheridan, Wyoming Year firm was founded: 2000 Number of employees and/or partners: 40 employees, 4 partners Assets under management/advisement as of Dec. 31, 2018: $3.37 billion
The benefits of having access to open space and being a long way from Wall Street seem to have paid off for Sheridan, Wyoming-based Frontier Asset Management, winner of the Strategist and Overall Asset Manager of the Year awards for 2019.
“We started the firm in August of 2000. There were two of us at that time, [my uncle] Gary Miller and myself,” said Robert Miller, CFA.
Driving Frontier’s growth, Miller explains, has been its focus on risk management: “We’ve really wanted to look at how clients and advisors perceive risk and make that … the overarching principle of how we manage money.”
While focusing on risk and the tradeoff for return, he adds, the team works hard to avoid “getting captured on the return side, which then lets the portfolio go anywhere … and can get clients into trouble by taking too much risk unknowingly,” he adds.
According to Envestnet, Frontier’s portfolio managers “analyze risk, return and correlations to help drive dynamic asset allocations,” and its “relative outperformance has been consistently driven by both active asset allocation and active manager selection.”
Since the firm launched the Frontier Globally Diversified Strategies, it has outpaced its respective blended benchmarks 85% of the time, on average, over rolling three-year time periods.
A team approach lies behind this success, according to Miller. “Gary and I, along with Jeremy van Arkel, … had worked together in previous firms. It was … a great reunion of us coming back together to do something that we thought was needed in the industry.”