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San Francisco’s Forward Funds to acquire Kensington real estate fund business

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San Francisco-based Forward Management, investment adviser to the Forward Funds, will add the Kensington Funds from the Kensington Investment Group to the Forward Funds series.

San Francisco-based Forward Management, investment adviser to the Forward Funds, will add the Kensington Funds from the Kensington Investment Group to the Forward Funds series.

The addition, pending shareholder approval in April, would create a combined fund family offering investors 35 mutual funds in no-load and load-share classes with more than USD3.7bn in assets under management.

‘Kensington’s investment team has built deep expertise in global real estate and infrastructure – the Global Infrastructure Fund invests in companies that may benefit from economic stimulus packages and the Select Income Fund offers investors the potential to generate significant income,’ says J. Alan Reid, Jr., chief executive officer of Forward Management (pictured).

‘These portfolios complement Forward’s extensive roster of funds and offer investors further opportunities to diversify their portfolios with income-oriented products.’

Following shareholder approval, Kensington Funds will be branded as Forward Funds. The Kensington Select Income Fund, Kensington Global Infrastructure Fund and Kensington Strategic Realty Fund will maintain their investment strategies and continue to be managed by current portfolio managers.

Kensington’s Global and International Real Estate Funds will merge to create the Forward International Real Estate Fund but will continue to be co-managed by Paul Gray and Michael McGowan. The Kensington Real Estate Securities Fund will merge into the Forward Real Estate Fund.

The Forward Real Estate Fund was launched in 1999 and has a solid, long-term track record of investing in US real estate management companies using a core-focused approach. The fund is managed by Richard Imperiale, a veteran of real estate investing.

‘Joining forces with Forward will provide our team with the resources and capacity to run our funds more effectively and efficiently, while allowing us to focus further on performance and clients,’ says Kensington president John Kramer.

The acquisition of the Kensington Funds marks Forward Management’s third acquisition in the last year.

Forward acquired Accessor Capital Management, investment adviser to the Accessor Funds, in 2008, as well as the assets of Berkeley Capital Management, including the investment portfolios and team responsible for managing the Global Dividend, International Dividend, US Dividend and SmallMid Core Portfolios.

The transaction will also will expand Forward’s income/dividend-oriented product offerings. The Kensington portfolio management team will join the teams from Berkeley and Accessor, further strengthening Forward’s internal asset management capabilities.

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