Frontier Advisors has extended its strategy of recruiting analysts and consultants from diverse finance-related backgrounds, with the appointment of Philip Naylor, who has had a career encompassing the RBA, in Sydney and New York, Macquarie Bank, the World Bank and the Northern Territory Government.
Naylor joined Frontier this month as a senior consultant in the advisory firm’s capital markets group, working with Chris Trevillyan, director of investment strategy, and senior consultant Kuek Chyuan Low (K.C.). His appointment follows that of Isabelle Demir earlier this year, who is the head of real assets and has worked in private equity and infrastructure in London, Dubai and Shanghai, as well as Sydney and Melbourne.
Naylor said last week that he hoped he could bring a “broader view” to the table for clients, particularly with respect to asset allocation. Interestingly, he noted, there was more to investments than asset allocation and manager selection.
“While they are very important drivers of returns, especially asset allocation, there are lots of other ways to add value to a portfolio. You can add 10-20bps here and there and also add value through protecting a portfolio in a pending downturn,” he said.
According to Wayne Sullivan, Frontier’s director of marketing and business development, the firm also hoped to add value for clients with its analyses on big issues and trends such as inequality, diversity – both gender and otherwise – and disruption. “We look at longer-term themes too,” he said.
Naylor actually got into the markets during his undergraduate degree at RMIT in Melbourne. He took a year off and worked at Bell Commodities, a part of the Bell stockbroking group, trading future during “European hours”, doing the 4pm to midnight shift. After completing his undergraduate degree he went back to do an Honours year, with his theses, coincidentally analysing the RBA’s intervention in markets. He joined the RBA in 2008, in Sydney, and then spent two-and-half years with the central bank in New York.
At the end of that stint he gained admission to Columbia University for his Masters’ degree and was introduced to the World Bank, working with a focus on emerging markets. He moved to Washington for a short-term consultancy.
After returning to Sydney in 2015 to re-join the RBA, he worked on Australia’s involvement with the G-20 Summit, looking especially at infrastructure developments. With his wife, a legal aid lawyer experienced with issues for indigenous people, and family, they then moved, again, to Darwin. Philip was offered a job as advisor to the-then, and current, treasurer, Nicole Manison, after Labor’s landslide victory. He describes it as “an amazing experience because of the huge challenges”, particularly with the large indigenous population.
Now expecting their fourth child, Naylor said it was good to be home in Melbourne but still working in an environment where you could feel that you made a difference. “I’ve been keen to get into investing and advising on investing, across all the asset classes… I’ve always been interested in the long term and also in doing something which is intellectually challenging,” he said.