Salient to acquire Forward Management

Salient Partners LP has agreed to buy San Francisco-based asset management firm Forward Management LLC. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

PRESS RELEASE

HOUSTON, Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Salient Partners L.P. (“Salient”) announced today its proposal to acquire Forward Management, LLC (“Forward”), an independent, privately-held asset management firm based in San Francisco, California, and investment advisor to the Forward Funds. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined firm will manage and advise over $27 billion in assets.

Salient and Forward expect the proposed transaction to close in the second quarter of 2015, pending approval by Forward Funds’ shareholders and fulfillment of customary closing conditions. Once completed, the transaction will accelerate Salient’s growth as an industry leader in innovative liquid alternatives strategies, with funds in a variety of nontraditional markets and asset classes, including master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), real estate investment trust (“REIT”) securities, trend following, risk parity and hard-to-access equity and credit markets. The investment strategies will be managed and supported by the combined firm’s more than 250 employees from offices in Houston, San Francisco and New York.

“We are thrilled to unite with Forward in this transformational partnership. Our goal is to help investors focus on what truly matters—cost-effective investment strategies that seek to provide diversification in uncertain times,” said John Blaisdell, chairman and chief executive officer of Salient. “The combined platform will add scale, reach and depth to all areas of our business, helping us support institutional investors and financial advisors nationwide.”

“Salient and Forward have a lot in common—we’re both independently-owned businesses with a focus on innovation in asset management that offer risk-conscious investment tools to address challenges of modern-day markets,” said Alan Reid, chief executive officer of Forward. “We have a mutual respect for the businesses we have built from the ground up, and together we will move to a new stage of development, while preserving the central tenets of what Forward has become.”

Salient’s senior management team will lead the combined company, with John Blaisdell as chairman and chief executive officer and Lee Partridge as chief investment officer. Rob Naka, Forward’s chief operating officer, will hold the same role at the newly combined company.

Both Forward and Salient’s portfolio management teams will report to Lee Partridge. Forward’s investment approach and processes are anticipated to remain unchanged. Forward’s team will continue to operate from its existing San Francisco office.

“At Salient, we believe that focusing on what matters in investing means finding better answers than the conventional wisdom of Wall Street. This focus is even more important in a world of historically low interest rates and flagging global growth,” said Lee Partridge, chief investment officer of Salient. “Finding outstanding portfolio management teams, like those at Forward, who share our values and these beliefs, is a rare opportunity.”

Salient and Forward will combine their complementary mutual fund offerings to provide a diverse suite of innovative asset allocation and alternative strategies designed to allow investors the opportunity to create diversified portfolios or enhance their existing portfolios. Salient plans to add to its institutional product offerings with new private funds and separately managed accounts based on Forward’s investment strategies.

The combined suite of funds will include:
Global asset allocation, including Salient’s risk parity strategy;
Real asset investments, including MLPs, REITs and global infrastructure strategies;
Diversifying alternative investments, including tactical, long/short equity and trend-following strategies;
Focused equity investments, including international, emerging market and dividend growth strategies; and
Fixed income and credit investments, including emerging market corporate debt.

Salient and Forward’s shared commitment to investor education and financial advisor support will be reflected in the combined thought leadership platform. Team members will continue to share their market views, insights and investment perspectives through both traditional and social media channels. Both the FWD Thinking blog and Salient’s nationally-recognized Epsilon Theory newsletter will continue to provide insightful and differentiated commentary on pressing issues in the investment world.

About Salient
Salient is an innovative asset management firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, that provides alternative investment strategies to institutional investors and financial advisors. The firm offers a broad selection of equity, fixed income, risk-balancing, asset-allocation, energy and commodity, real estate, hedge fund and private equity strategies in the form of mutual funds, separately managed accounts and private funds. Salient’s strategies aim to eliminate unrewarded risk, reduce investing costs and focus on fundamental drivers of returns. A core element of Salient’s platform is its thought leadership and ongoing education of financial advisors and investors, which the firm provides via weekly market observations, monthly webcasts and its nationally-recognized Epsilon Theory newsletter. For more information about Salient, visit www.salientpartners.com. Follow Salient on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Forward
The world has changed, leading investors to seek new strategies that better fit an evolving global climate. Forward’s investment solutions are built around the outcomes we believe investors need to be pursuing—non-correlated return, investment income, global exposure and diversification. With a propensity for unbounded thinking, we focus especially on developing innovative alternative strategies that may help investors build all-weather portfolios. An independent, privately held firm founded in 1998, Forward is the advisor to the Forward Funds. As of December 31, 2014, we manage and advise nearly $6 billion in a diverse product set offered to individual investors, financial advisors and institutions. For more information about Forward, visit www.forwardinvesting.com. Follow Forward on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.