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Rating:Forward Brings Three Alternative Funds to a Broader Audience Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Forward Brings Three Alternative Funds to a Broader Audience

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Forward Management [see profile] has unveiled no-load investor share classes for three of its alternative mutual funds. Now sporting the share class are Forward International Real Estate Fund, Forward Real Estate Long/Short Fund and Forward Global Infrastructure Fund.

"We aim to be a leader in providing individual investors with better access to alternative strategies, as we believe many investors will need to substantially broaden their asset class exposure if they hope to keep pace with their long-term return objectives in the years ahead," said Forward CEO J. Alan Reid, Jr. in a press release on Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based, Gordon Getty-backed asset manager has launched or acquired nine alternative mutual funds since 2007.
Company Press Release

FORWARD MANAGEMENT INTRODUCES NO-LOAD INVESTOR SHARE CLASS FOR THREE OF ITS REAL ESTATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDS

Firm expands its effort to make alternatives more accessible to individuals

San Francisco, July 20, 2011 – Forward Management, LLC (Forward) has announced the introduction of a new “investor” share class for three of its funds in the real estate and infrastructure category: the Forward International Real Estate Fund (FFIRX), the Forward Real Estate Long/Short Fund (FFSRX), and the Forward Global Infrastructure Fund (FGLRX).

The new investor shares carry no sales load. They also offer lower investment minimums than the funds’ existing no-load institutional share class, enabling individuals to invest with as little as $500.

"We aim to be a leader in providing individual investors with better access to alternative strategies, as we believe many investors will need to substantially broaden their asset class exposure if they hope to keep pace with their long-term return objectives in the years ahead," said Forward CEO J. Alan Reid, Jr. Since 2007 Forward has launched or acquired a total of nine alternative mutual funds, including five using long/short strategies.

Forward's real estate investment team manages five mutual funds with more than$1.7 billion in total assets as of June 30, 2011. Forward's real estate funds invest in common and preferred stocks of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and operating companies, international property markets, and the global infrastructure sector.

With more than 20 years of shared history, Forward’s real estate team has honed its valuation and analytical disciplines based on lessons learned through four major real estate industry cycles. The team conducts rigorous on-the-ground global fundamental research with an emphasis on knowledge of properties and management teams. It is also distinguished by hands-on research by portfolio managers, access to an expansive industry network, and proprietary modeling. All funds are team-managed with each fund having a lead portfolio manager.

The three Forward real estate funds with a newly introduced investor share class are:

  • The FORWARD GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE FUND (www.forwardfunds.com/FFOnline/FundPage.html?baseID=78), which takes an unusually broad view of the infrastructure sector. The fund invests in the physical structures and networks that provided necessary services, such as transportation and communications networks, utilities, energy storage and transportation. In addition to investing in the building blocks of urban development around the world, the fund also seeks opportunities in related companies, such as providers of raw materials and infrastructure services. Lead portfolio manager is Aaron Visse.
  • The FORWARD INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE FUND (www.forwardfunds.com/FFOnline/FundPage.html?baseID=80), which invests in high-quality commercial and residential real estate companies in Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and Latin America. The fund’s lead manager, Michael McGowan, blends on-the-ground assessment and quantitative analysis to identify investment opportunities.
  • The FORWARD REAL ESTATE LONG/SHORT FUND (www.forwardfunds.com/FFOnline/FundPage.html?baseID=77), which uses a value-driven approach to invest in high-quality U.S. real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate operating companies. Forward's Ian Goltra is lead portfolio manager for the fund.

    Investor shares were previously introduced and are also available in the Forward Real Estate Fund, which invests long-only in U.S. REITs and real estate operating companies.

    About Forward Management, LLC

    Forward Management, LLC, is a privately-held asset management firm that uses a forward-thinking, problem-solving approach to help investors and advisors navigate a shifting, uncertain investment climate. Based in San Francisco, the firm is the investment advisor to the Forward Funds. It gives investors and their advisors access to a broad spectrum of investment and asset allocation solutions, including an evolving set of alternatives to traditional, long-only investing. As of June 30, 2011, Forward Management had a total of $5.7 billion in assets under management in a product set including mutual funds, separate account strategies, and limited partnerships. More information on Forward Management and the Forward Funds can be found at www.forwardmgmt.com.

    Please consider the objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing in the fund. A prospectus with this and other information may be obtained by calling (888) 312-4100 or by visiting www.forwardfunds.com. Please read carefully before making a final investment decision.

    A fund that concentrates its investments in opportunities in the real estate industry or otherwise invests in real estate-related securities is subject to the risks associated with direct ownership of real estate. Real estate values can fluctuate as a result of general and local economic conditions, over-building and increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, casualty or condemnation losses, regulatory limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, increases in interest rates, and defaults by borrowers or tenants. The value of equities that service the real estate business sector may also be affected by such risks. (International Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Long/Short)

    Foreign securities, especially emerging or frontier markets, will involve additional risks including exchange rate fluctuations, social and political instability, less liquidity, greater volatility, and less regulation. (Global Infrastructure, International Real Estate, Real Estate Long/Short)

    A fund that concentrates in a particular industry will involve a greater degree of risk than a fund with a more diversified portfolio. A “non-diversified” fund has the ability to invest a larger percentage of its assets in the securities of a smaller number of issuers than a "diversified" fund.

    The net asset value per share of a non-diversified fund can be expected to fluctuate more than that of a comparable diversified fund. (Global Infrastructure, International Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate Long/Short)

    Borrowing for investment purposes creates leverage, which can increase the risk and volatility of a fund. A fund’s use of short selling involves additional investment risks and transaction costs, and creates leverage, which can increase the risk and volatility of a fund. (Real Estate Long/Short)

    Alternative strategies typically are subject to increased risk and loss of principal. Consequently, investments such as mutual funds which focus on alternative strategies are not suitable for all investors.

    Forward Global Infrastructure Fund seeks total return through capital appreciation and current income.

    Forward International Real Estate Fund seeks total return from both capital appreciation and current income. Forward Real Estate Fund seeks income with capital appreciation as a secondary goal.

    Forward Real Estate Long/Short Fund seeks total return through a combination of high current income relative to equity investment alternatives, plus long-term growth of capital.

    Alan Reid is a registered representatives of ALPS Distributors, Inc. Forward Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. ALPS Distributors Inc., is not affiliated with Forward Management or Kanter and Company. Separately Managed Accounts and related investment advisory services are provided by Forward Management, a federally regulated Investment Advisor.
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