The Frontier Group UBS Review 2023- Unreliable and Greedy
The Frontier Group UBS is an Anchorage-based financial consultancy firm. The Frontier Group UBS leadership consists of Tammy Renae Head and Patsy Burton.
The Frontier Group UBS claims to have received many accolades and awards. However, The Frontier Group UBS might distract you from the reality of this consultancy.
As an investor, you should be aware of the pros and cons of hiring a financial advisory firm. The following write-up throws light on some of the deceptively hidden issues present in the Frontier Group UBS. It would help you make a better-informed decision when deciding if you should work with them or not:
About the Frontier Group – Anchorage, AK
The Frontier Group UBS is the Anchorage, Alaska branch of UBS Financial Services Inc. The firm is located at 3000 A St Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99503, US. Their contact number is 907-261-5964.
Tammy Renae Head is the Senior Vice President – Wealth Management at this firm. She has CIMA, ChFC, CLU, and CRPS qualifications. Other notable people at this company are:
- Patsy Burton (First Vice President – Wealth Management)
- Ryan McHugh (First Vice President – Wealth Management)
- David Sayler (Vice President – Wealth Management)
- Jeffrey Head (Associate Director)
They offer various financial services including retirement planning, multigenerational planning, education financing and more. While the firm claims to be client-focused, they also avoid taking any responsibility for the decisions you make based on their advice.
Sure, its leaders have many accolades to their name. But the Frontier Group has plenty of flaws, one of which is its leader’s past:
Leadership with Questionable Past
Before you work with any investment advisor, it’s best to look them up on FINRA BrokerCheck. It’s a database of all financial advisors and firms which shows their qualifications, past employers, and other crucial information.
This database can also tell you if an advisor had a dispute with its previous client. I found a crucial disclosure on this firm’s profile.
Tammy Renae Head is the Senior VP at this UBS branch. She had settled a dispute in 1997 with $5,266.04.
In response to this dispute, Tammy said that she didn’t admit her liability and denied all allegations. She says that she settled the dispute only because she wanted to save money on legal fees.
It’s worth noting that the dispute was for unauthorized trading.
Issues with The Frontier Group UBS
There are plenty of problems with this financial advisory firm apart from its leaders’ questionable past.
From excessive fees to incentive for putting you at unnecessary risk, here are the top red flags in the Frontier Group UBS:
Various Class Action Lawsuits Against UBS
Patsy Burton and Tammy Head’s firm is a branch of UBS, one of the biggest banks in the globe. However, UBS has been facing many class action lawsuits because of its products and services. The company is developing a reputation for ignoring its clients’ interests.
Recently, UBS agreed to pay $135 million to settle a forex class action suit. Similarly, another class action lawsuit was filed in October for reporting incorrect tax information to holders of taxable municipal bonds.
Their errors caused substantial overstatement of taxable income, leading to overpayment of taxes.
Being a branch of UBS, this firm has the same terms and conditions UBS has. They sell the investment products of this bank and earn commissions from them.
Hence, you should be wary of working with such a selfish corporation. It would be better to go for an independent firm instead.
The first issue with the Frontier Group UBS is that its advisors are broker-dealers. This means, they earn commissions from “selling” investments.
Ideally, an investment advisor would recommend you securities based on your plans and needs. But when an advisor earns commissions from recommending specific investments, it makes them biased.
The Frontier Group is a business and it needs to make money. But its funds shouldn’t come at the expense of its clients. Trusting their recommendations becomes difficult when they have incentive to “sell” specific securities.
The Frontier Group UBS is an insurance broker. This means, the firm earns commissions from selling insurance products.
You should be wary of investment advisors that are also insurance brokers as they might recommend unnecessary insurance products out of greed. An unsuspecting consumer would think that their advisor cares about their financial security. But in reality, the advisor would simply be ripping them off.
12b-1 Fees Conflict
Some financial advisory firms recommend mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fees. It’s a marketing fee which generally goes in the pocket of the advisor.
12b-1 fee increases the cost of the investment but doesn’t offer any benefits. An SEC study compared the returns of mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fee and those that don’t. It found no difference between their returns.
This firm offers securities with 12b-1 fees which would cause you to spend extra unnecessarily.
What is a Red Flag?
A red flag serves as a signal or sign that there may be an underlying issue or danger associated with a company’s stock, financial statements, or news reports. These indicators can come in many forms and are often identified by analysts or investors as any notable undesirable trait.
Financial advisory firms that charge performance-based fees tend to put their clients at excessive risk. That’s because they earn the fee only when they outperform or match a specific benchmark.
This incentivizes the firm to put their clients at unnecessary risk without their knowledge just to make an extra buck. According to its disclosures, the Frontier Group UBS charges performance-based fees.
High-risk investment strategies are not suitable for every investor. But when you work with a firm that charges performance-based fees, your chances of avoiding such strategies become very slim.
Selling Proprietary Investments
This advisory firm is a part of UBS, which has a plethora of proprietary investment products and affiliated securities. The advisors at Patsy’s firm would benefit more if they recommend UBS’s products to you, regardless of their suitability.
That’s because “selling” UBS’s products and affiliated securities would generate higher commissions for this firm.
This can lead to misrepresentation and unsuitable financial advice. Just recently, various UBS advisors have had to pay hundreds of dollars in damages to investors because recommending unsuitable investments.
Many UBS advisors recommended the YES strategy to their clients even though it didn’t match their requirements.
Just recently, UBS had to pay $358,000 to one investor because of this.
The Frontier Group UBS performs side-by-side management. This means, the firm handles both large and small accounts at the same time.
It incentivizes the firm to favor hedge funds and the larger clients resulting in unfavorable trade executions and unequal trading costs for the smaller retail accounts.
Performing side-by-side management is a major red flag because it affects the service-quality of the advisor.
Trading Recommended Investments
Another prominent problem with this advisory firm is its advisors trade the investments they recommend to their clients. While it might seem like “eating your own cooking”, it leads to a lot of conflicts of interest.
Shady financial advisors tend to use their clients’ funds to manipulate the securities’ returns and enhance their profits. Many clients are unaware of which securities their financial advisor trades for himself.
There are many ways an advisor can exploit this deal. For example, they might trade specific securities before recommending them to you to manipulate the returns.
Your money would be used to fill the pockets of your advisor without your knowledge.
If you raise any concerns, the advisor would simply say, “you agreed to the terms yourself”.
The Frontier Group UBS seems like an attractive option at first but the illusion fades away when you look into the details. It has an experienced team, branding of a prestigious bank, and various accolades.
But the firm has selfish and conflicting terms and conditions which put you at a huge disadvantage.
It would be best to avoid dealing with the Frontier Group.
Working with the Frontier Group has many issues. They charge performance-based fees, their leadership has a suspicious history, and UBS itself is notorious for taking advantage of unsuspecting investors. It would be better to stay away from this firm.
- Part of a reputed bank
- Commission-based revenue
- Shady past
- Performance-based fee
- 12b-1 fees