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Monday, January 26, 2009

Forward Heads For the Frontier

News summary by MFWire's editors

Forward Management has a new fund, this one investing in the less-developed world. The San Francisco-based manager just unveiled that Accessor Frontier Markets Fund, benchmarked against the MSCI Frontier Market Index (which tracks 22 countries in the Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East).

CEO Alan Reid described the niche as "emerging emerging markets".

"Our fund offers convenient access to these untapped equity markets," Reid stated.

The fund offers advisor and investor class shares.

Forward purchased Accessor Capital Management last year (see MFWire, 6/4/2008).

Company Press Release

Forward Management, LLC (Forward), the investment advisor to the Accessor Funds, today announced the launch of a new mutual fund, the Accessor Frontier Markets Fund. The fund will serve as a vehicle for investors seeking exposure to frontier markets.

The fund will attempt to approximate the returns of frontier markets, which are smaller, less liquid and less developed equity markets. The MSCI Frontier Market Index, consisting of 22 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, and includes such countries as United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Croatia and Ukraine, will be the fund?s benchmark.

"This asset class represents emerging emerging markets, which are under-invested and present opportunity for investors seeking growth and diversification," said Alan Reid, CEO of Forward Management. "Our fund offers convenient access to these untapped equity markets."

Frontier markets exhibit three characteristics which make them attractive long-term equity investments: high gross domestic product (GDP) growth, discounted relative valuations and historically uncorrelated returns to other assets classes.

"Frontier economies have diverse and growing industries, including telecommunications, consumer and banking. The combination of high growth and relative low valuations makes frontier markets one of the most compelling stories in global investing," said Paul Herber, the fund?s Portfolio Manager. "Due to domestic orientation, frontier economies historically have had low correlation to each other as well as to other global economies. Over the long term they can help provide investors with diversification and lower volatility."

The fund will primarily invest directly or indirectly in the index investment vehicles such as structured notes, exchange traded funds, exchange traded notes and securities of companies in frontier market countries. It will be available in Advisor (FRNMX) and Investor (FRONX) Class Shares.

The fund is managed by Forward Management, which also manages the Accessor Strategic Alternatives Fund, Accessor Allocation Funds and Accessor U.S. Government Money Fund.

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.

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Forward Funds carefully before investing. A prospectus 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.

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

There is no guarantee that the fund will meet its objective. The Accessor Frontier Markets Fund is a nondiversified fund. An investor will indirectly bear the expenses of the fund?s underlying investments. In addition, the fund?s underlying investments (such as structured notes, derivatives, commodities and levered ETFs) will involve heightened risks related to liquidity, increased volatility, and unfavorable fluctuations in currency values. The underlying international and real estate investments will also be subject to economic or political instability in the US and other countries, credit risk and interest rate fluctuations. Investing in foreign securities, especially emerging and frontier markets, will involve additional risks, including social and political instability, liquidity, greater volatility and less regulation.

Forward Funds are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. Alan Reid and Paul Herber are registered representative of 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. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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