Forward Management Announces Strategic Partnership with Affinity Investment Advisors; Investment Advisor to Provide Sales and Marketing Services to Leading West Coast Asset Management Firm

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Aug. 3, 2006--Forward Management, LLC (Forward) announced today a sales and marketing partnership with Affinity Investment Advisors, LLC (Affinity) of Irvine, CA, a registered investment management firm specializing in large cap equity investing.

"Affinity is a great fit for Forward," said Alan Reid, President of Forward Management. "We have a long history of strategic partnerships with investment firms that have strong track records of success. Given Affinity's 14-year track record in the large cap space, we are excited to take their expertise to an even broader market."

Forward will market the Forward Affinity Large Cap Equity Portfolio (also known as the Affinity MarketPlus Core Portfolio), a separately managed account and will launch a new mutual fund sub-advised by Affinity, the Forward Large Cap Equity Fund, in the fall of this year.

Founded in 1992 by Gregory R. Lai, CFA, Affinity specializes in constructing diversified large cap portfolios, focused on risk management, and they have been ranked (by Nelson's "MarketPlace" and Money Manager Review) as a top large cap core manager.

Affinity utilizes a time-tested, disciplined, bottom-up investment process that generates alpha through stock selection and risk control. Using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, Affinity identifies high quality undervalued stocks with strong earnings fundamentals.

"We are extremely excited about our new partnership with Forward and the opportunities it will bring," said Greg Lai, Managing Director and Sr. Portfolio Manager for Affinity. "Their sales and marketing expertise will enable us to reach new channels, including individual investors with the launch of the new mutual fund."

About Forward Management, LLC

Forward Management, LLC, based in San Francisco, is the investment advisor to the Forward Funds, a family of twelve mutual funds including the Sierra Club Mutual Funds. In addition, the firm offers a range of separately managed accounts including Large Cap, REIT, Equity Income and Micro Cap. Forward Management developed ReFlow, an innovative liquidity tool for portfolio managers which provides enhanced performance and tax efficiency, which is used by the Forward Funds and Sierra Club Mutual Funds, as well as other leading mutual fund managers.

Forward 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

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. A prospectus with this and other information may be obtained by calling (800)-999-6809 or by downloading one from It should be read carefully before investing.

There are risks involved with investing, including loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Alpha is a coefficient measuring risk-adjusted performance.

Forward Funds and Sierra Club Mutual Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc.


Stephanie Chaney, 415-438-9825


Stephanie Chaney, 415-438-9825