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Boston Partners Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Boston Partners, otherwise known as Boston Partners Global Investors, Inc., is a financial advisor firm with tens of billions in assets under management (AUM) and many on-staff advisors. The firm is unsurprisingly headquartered in Boston, though it also has four other offices. The firm does not offer financial planning services, as it focuses entirely on investment management. To find a financial advisor who offers financial planning services, try using SmartAsset's free matching tool.

This is a fee-only firm, which means that all of its compensation comes from the management fees that clients pay. Fee-only is different from fee-based, which is a fee structure that indicates a firm can also earn compensation from outside sources like securities transactions and insurance sales.

Boston Partners Background

Although Boston Partners was founded in 1995, its history can be traced back to 1970 through predecessor firms. Joseph F. Feeney, Jr. acts as the CEO of the firm, with nearly 40 years of investment experience. Boston Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of ORIX Corporation, a publicly owned financial services company based out of Tokyo, Japan.

Boston Partners has its headquarters in Boston on One Beacon Street. The firm also has offices in New York City; Greenbrae, California; Los Angeles, California; and London, United Kingdom.

The firm employs a large team of advisors, some of whom have earned advisory certifications. This list includes chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).

Boston Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Boston Partners has around 1,750 clients, with a large majority of them receiving advice through externally sponsored wrap fee programs. The firm also works directly with high-net-worth individuals, investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans, charitable organizations, government entities, insurance companies and businesses.

Boston Partners has a range of minimum account sizes that vary depending on the investment strategy the client’s portfolio follows. For the firm’s equity services, minimums can be anywhere from $250k to $100 million. Services available through WPG Partners, the firm’s affiliate, have $5 million to $10 million minimums. These minimums may be waived in whole or in part at the firm's discretion.

Clients utilizing the investment trust or wrap fee program services through Boston Partners will have less stringent requirements. For the former, the minimum is $100,000, while the latter ranges from $250,000 to $1 million.

Services Offered by Boston Partners

Boston Partners offers asset management services to its clients. These can be split into two broad categories:

  • Discretionary investment management for institutional and high-net-worth individual clients
  • Discretionary and non-discretionary management via wrap fee programs
    • Boston Partners may provide these services in conjunction with the wrap sponsor or through non-discretionary model portfolios

Boston Partners Investment Philosophy

Boston Partners lives by an equity-centric investment ideology. When fleshing out its portfolios, the firm looks to implement strong diversification in the interest of limiting risk and volatility and maximizing compounding. Equities are chosen based on the firm’s three “fundamental truths,” according to its Form ADV:

  • Low valuation stocks outperform high valuation stocks.
  • Companies with strong fundamentals, like high and sustainable returns on invested capital, outperform companies with weak fundamentals.
  • Stocks with positive business momentum, like rising earnings estimates, outperform stocks with negative business momentum.

To figure out which equities are best suited for its various strategies, Boston Partners uses fundamental analysis and research. This process involves combing through companies’ public filings and financial history, along with information about the industry as a whole. In this way, the firm comes to a conclusion about each equity’s intrinsic value.

Fees Under Boston Partners

For its investment advisory services, Boston Partners charges fees as a percentage of each client’s AUM. These charges are initially broken down by service, and then by the individual strategy that’s being used. Annual fees generally adhere to these ranges, depending on the size of the client’s portfolio:

  • Boston Partners Equity Services: 0.30% - 2.00%
  • WPG Partners Equity: 1.00% - 1.25%
  • Investment Trust Services: Starting at 0.75%
  • Wrap Fee Programs: 0.275% - 0.70%

Although it offers these standard fee schedules, the firm states that fees are negotiable according to each client’s individual situation. For example, if a client has multiple accounts or a high level of AUM, they may receive a discount. However, clients that require customized services may pay higher fees.

What to Watch Out For

Boston Partners has no disclosures listed on its Form ADV, giving it a clean legal and regulatory record.

Certain members of Boston Partners’ institutional client base may pay performance-based fees. Such fees can represent a conflict of interest, as the firm acknowledges in its Form ADV: “Boston Partners has an incentive to allocate favorable trades or good investment ideas with limited availability to the performance fee accounts because Boston Partners will be paid greater compensation from the performance fee accounts, if the performance is good, than those accounts with an asset-based fee. This presents a conflict between Boston Partners and its clients.”

Despite this fee arrangement, Boston Partners abides by fiduciary duty. Therefore it is legally bound to act in clients’ best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With Boston Partners

To become a client of Boston Partners, call the firm’s headquarters at (617) 832-8200 or visit the firm’s website and fill out the contact form. You’ll then speak with a firm representative who can help you get started.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • While Boston Partners does not offer financial planning services, many other advisors do. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account when calculating what kind of income you’ll need in retirement. If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research