Forward Management just launched the Forward Tactical Growth Fund. On Monday the San Francisco-based fund firm unveiled the new fund, which is subadvised by a firm Forward just bought a minority stake in, Broadmark Asset Management. Chris Guptill, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Broadmark, serves as the new fund's manager.
Jeffrey Cusack Forward Management President
At the time of the acquisition, Forward CEO Alan Reid told the MFWire that Forward is "focused on building a lineup of alternative options," and according to the official press release, the Forward Tactical Growth Fund will adhere to that plan.
Not technically a long/short fund, the new, "alternative strategy" fund will allow investors access to a tactical strategy designed to capitalize on market inefficiencies, investing in ETFs and shorting ETFs. Forward president Jeffrey Cusack told the MFWire that the new fund is managed in an "absolutely identical" fashion to Broadmark's own hedge fund, which launched in 2001.
"There's no leverage," Cusack said, noting that advisors could use the "tactical and nimble" new offering to "overlay" portfolios for clients. "It's almost a practice management issue that we're solving for these advisors."
The Forward Tactical Growth Fund will be available in investor, institutional and C share classes. Cusack confirmed that the fund is already live on the platforms of Fidelity, Pershing and Schwab.
The Tactical Growth fund is Forward's fifth Alternative Strategies fund. The firm boasts $5.5 billion in assets.
Company Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO - Forward Management, LLC (Forward) today announced the launch of a new mutual fund, Forward Tactical Growth Fund (FFTGX). The fund employs an alternative strategy designed to capitalize on market inefficiencies while actively managing downside volatility, and allows investors access to a long/short tactical strategy that strives to participate in the upside of the market while limiting the downside. Tactical equity exposure is used to manage risk and enhance alpha and the portfolio can be long, short or neutral on the market. The Forward Tactical Growth Fund is available in investor, institutional and C share classes and is sub-advised by the investment team at Broadmark Asset Management, LLC (Broadmark). Broadmark also partners with Forward to offer a similar strategy for Forward in separately managed accounts (SMA).
“We have found a partner whose track record over the past six years offered compelling performance while helping to limit the downside,” said J. Alan Reid, CEO of Forward. “We are excited to bring mutual fund investors access to a tactical strategy of this caliber.”
The Forward Tactical Growth Fund’s investment objective is to produce above-average, risk-adjusted returns, in any market environment, while exhibiting less downside volatility than the S&P 500. The Fund’s investment process is designed to evaluate individual securities, sectors and entire markets to determine if they are over- or undervalued, and accordingly to take both long or short positions as a result of their analysis. The fund will attempt to accomplish this by primarily investing in ETFs and futures, while using Broadmark’s proprietary, multi-factor process to identify investment opportunities over time. The Fund may use leveraged investment techniques as well as short positions on target securities which allow the Fund a net exposure which can range from 120% net long to 100% net short in its portfolio.
Broadmark believes that portfolio risk and return can be enhanced with a strategy that is not required to be long only and fully invested, and that stock market risk can be addressed. Its investment management approach is research-driven, and employs a qualitative top-down analysis combined with quantitative risk management. In attempting to achieve this objective, the fund will invest in both U.S. and non-U.S. securities, primarily exchange traded funds (ETFs) and futures.
The Forward Tactical Growth Fund represents the latest step by Forward to offer mutual funds and separately managed accounts in a wide array of alternative asset classes and strategies. Through both internal product development and a series of acquisitions, Forward has built a strong presence in the alternative investment space with funds in various asset classes. The firm’s alternative strategies funds include Forward Long/Short Credit Analysis Fund (a long-short bond portfolio) as well as domestic and foreign real estate funds that utilize leverage strategies like the Forward International Fixed Income Fund, Forward International Real Estate Fund, Forward Select Income Fund, Forward Strategic Realty, Accessor Strategic Alternatives Fund and Accessor Frontier Markets Fund.
“We are seeing advisors migrate to products that manage risk and enhance alpha by having the flexibility to be long, short or neutral on the market. We believe the Forward Tactical Growth Fund offers a unique solution for investors seeking tactical equity exposure,” said Jeff Cusack, President of Forward Management.
About Forward Management, LLC
Forward Management, LLC, based in San Francisco, is the investment advisor to the Forward Funds and the Accessor Funds. The firm also markets a range of separately managed accounts. Forward Management offers institutional money managers, financial advisors and individual investors access to industry leading investment managers, investment products and services. The firm specializes in identifying sub-advisors who have long track records of managing assets in specific investment disciplines and asset classes. More information on Forward Management and the Forward Funds can be found at www.forwardmgmt.com.
Investing in foreign securities, especially emerging markets, will involve additional risks, including social and political instability, liquidity, greater volatility and less regulation. Funds that concentrate in a particular industry will involve a greater degree of risk than a fund with a more diversified portfolio. Small company stocks are generally riskier than large company stocks due to greater volatility and less liquidity. REIT funds will be subject to a higher degree of market risk because of concentration in a specific industry, sector or geographic sector. Risks also include declines in the value of real estate, and general economic conditions. High-yield bonds involve a greater risk of default and price volatility than U.S. Government and other high quality bonds. High-yield/high-risk bonds can experience sudden and sharp price swings which will affect net asset value.
The underlying investments of the Forward Tactical Growth Fund (such as ETFs, and futures and options on securities, securities indexes and shares of ETFs) may involve heightened risks related to liquidity, increased volatility and unfavorable fluctuations in currency values. The underlying international and real estate investments may also be subject to economic or political instability in the U.S. and other countries, credit risk and interest rate fluctuations. Investors will indirectly bear the expenses of the Fund's underlying investments. The Fund’s use of short selling involves additional risks and transaction costs, and creates leverage, which can increase the volatility of the Fund.
The International Real Estate Fund, Long/Short Credit Analysis Fund, Select Income Fund and Strategic Realty Fund will invest in lower-rated debt securities and may utilize derivatives for hedging purposes. The Funds’ use of short selling involves additional risks and transaction costs, and creates leverage, which can increase the volatility of the Funds. The Funds may invest in a larger percentage of their assets in the securities of a smaller number of issuers, since they are “non-diversified” mutual funds. The Long/Short Credit Analysis Fund’s prospectus allows for investing in non-investment grade securities.
Forward Tactical Growth Fund was launched on September 14, 2009 and the fund has a limited operating history.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Forward Funds carefully before investing. A prospectus, when available, with this and other information may be obtained by calling (800) 999-6809 or by downloading one from www.forwardfunds.com. It should be read carefully before investing.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Accessor Funds carefully before investing. A prospectus with this and other information may be obtained by calling (800) 882-9612 or by downloading one from www.accessor.com. It should be read carefully before investing.
Alpha is a coefficient measuring risk-adjusted performance.
Forward Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.
Accessor Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SIDCO). SIDCO is not affiliated with Forward Funds or ALPS Distributors, Inc., and ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with the Accessor Funds.
J. Alan Reid, Jr. is a registered representative of ALPS Distributors, Inc.