An Ex-ING Ops Exec Steps Forward
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Ex-ING Ops Exec Steps Forward

Forward Management has hired Robert Naka as senior vice president of operations. Most recently, he was chief operating officer at ING Funds.

An ING spokesperson was not immediately able to comment on how Naka's duties are being handled.

In an interview, Forward CEO Alan Reid told The MFWire that Naka will be instrumental in bolstering connectivity between Forward and its recent purchases, Kensington Investment Group and Accessor Capital Management.

"We see operations as critical to building scale and fluidity," Reid added.

One of Naka's tasks will be to integrate technology across the platform.

Company Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forward Management, LLC announced that Robert S. Naka has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Operations. His role will consist of coordinating and integrating the operational functions at Forward, including oversight of mutual funds, separately managed accounts and trading.

Mr. Naka has more than 18 years of investment experience in operations, compliance, mutual fund accounting, administrative services, and information technology. He recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the ING Funds and its affiliates (representing over 200 open- and closed-end funds, as well as variable annuity funds) in the company’s Scottsdale, AZ office.

“Rob has been brought on to enhance our operational platform, integrating support for hedge funds, mutual funds and SMAs,” said J. Alan Reid, CEO of Forward. “Forward has chosen business partners with some of the industry’s strongest technology platforms, and Rob’s addition will allow us to leverage those capabilities across the back office,” he added.

Mr. Naka began his investment career in the Mortgage Banking industry in 1986 with Colwell Financial (later known as Southmark Mortgage), working in Secondary Marketing and Accounting. In 1989, he joined the Pilgrim Group as a Mutual Fund Compliance Accountant. He worked in various capacities within the firm and in 1997 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations which encompassed Transfer Agent responsibilities and included management of Information Technologies, Human Resources, Facilities, Separately Managed Accounts and Operational Risk Management. Additionally, Mr. Naka guided a series of acquisitions and mergers that resulted in the current slate of 200 ING Funds. In 2006, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for ING’s Mutual Fund Business.

Mr. Naka holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego in Economics and Political Science.

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 investment managers 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 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 It should be read carefully before investing.

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