May 7, 2024
Relatability, ‘Greater Good’ Investments Help Frontier Build Its Client Base
Learn more about Frontier Wealth Strategies and consider joining them in becoming a Blue Vault member today!

Johnathan Rickman | Blue Vault

Creating trust with clients through relatability and working with alternative investments that serve a higher purpose is the formula helping Frontier Wealth Strategies build its business and offer a wider range of financial strategies for its fast-growing client base.

Frontier, an advisory practice based in Walnut Creek, CA, was co-founded in 2019 by Pamela Jacobs and Michael Hansen after the two met at a due diligence conference. Not only did they bond over investment management and financial planning, but they also learned they lived near each other and that both had 20+ years of industry experience.

“Over the course of the three days we were there, I really found a kinship with Michael,” Jacobs says. “We had the same kind of principles and morals about what to do for clients.” This was in 2017 and Jacobs was just learning about alternative investments. Hansen had already been working with alts and he encouraged her to attend future events on the topic.

“Michael was really big on growth and over time we realized we should work together—to build something,” Jacobs says. “The reason the name of the company is Frontier is because … we’re always looking for new, innovative solutions that have impact for our clients or that help the community.”

The small firm has a succession plan in place, a third advisor on staff, and works with an independent financial paraplanner to help the advisory team maximize time with clients. Frontier’s services include financial planning, investment management, tax mitigation strategies, executive planning strategies, and retirement planning.

The Trust Factor

While Frontier is continually growing its accredited investor client base, it aims to work with a more specific type in the investment community. Jacobs says half-jokingly that a client’s “minimum” should be that they’re nice and willing to work with her team.

Jacobs herself works with high-net-earning women who are often the household’s main breadwinner. These clients don’t always have time to ensure their financial goals are staying on track and will turn to Jacobs to schedule regular advisory checkups.

Frontier financial advisor Harold Lowe works with the African American community. As an African American himself, Lowe is able to leverage a similar-but-different sort of relatability. “The trust factor ultimately allows for more voices to be heard,” Jacobs says.

Pamela’s partner and co-founder of Frontier, Michael Hansen, rounds out the firm’s distinctive approach through his work with expats and immigrants who have moved to the United States, as well as U.S. expats who live abroad. He helps this audience tackle complex issues regarding their financial plan and brings to light the often-overlooked tax rules of multiple countries, jurisdictions, and citizenships.

Frontier’s Alts Approach

Alternative investments are at the heart of Frontier’s investment approach, but for reasons that don’t often get much attention. “It’s not just about making money for clients but about aligning these investments with a client’s values and goals,” Jacobs says. She notes for instance that some of her clients won’t touch certain energy investments.

As an advisor, Jacobs finds that, for investors that want to live their values, many alternative investment solutions simply sell themselves. “When you’re investing in a sponsor group that … focuses on assets that create efficiencies or jobs, you have a larger story to tell about the value of an investment and the investor feels closer to it.”

Frontier works closely with Shopoff Realty Investments and Cantor Fitzgerald on real estate- and infrastructure-focused strategies. Frontier also turns to Blue Vault for its insight on specific fund performance and other data to help the firm validate sponsor statements.

“Our team strongly believes that alternative investments shouldn’t just be for the very wealthy,” Jacobs says. “In the RIA space, we get to choose what’s available for our clients and make them aware of choices they wouldn’t otherwise have at an Edward Jones-type firm.” Learn more about Frontier Wealth Strategies and consider joining them in becoming a Blue Vault member today!


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