Salient and Forward Integrate: Which Brand Will Prevail?
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Friday, June 19, 2015

Salient and Forward Integrate: Which Brand Will Prevail?

The Salient Partners and Forward Management [profile] brands will not both be sticking around, but for now they're both still in use.

Lee Partridge
Salient Partners
Chief Investment Officer
In February Houston-based Salient unveiled a deal to buy San Francisco-based Forward, and last week Salient chairman and CEO John Blaisdell confirmed that the deal has closed. The combined firm has about 260 employees and $27 billion in AUM.

Lee Partridge, chief investment officer of Salient, confirms that the combined firm is continuing to use both brands for now, but that will change by the end of the year.

"We're looking at a comprehensive branding rollout," Partridge tells MFWire. "We're working with a firm that's dedicated to doing that."

"We definitely want to go with one brand ... Which one we're favoring has not been decided," Partridge adds. "It could go either way. Both brands are strong."

Partridge says he expects the integration of distribution, marketing, and much of operations to "happen pretty quickly," while the integration of the trading and middle office work could take about 18 months.

Partridge confirms that the combined firm now has about 260 employees, including 53 people on the investment side and 83 people on the business development side.

"We're pretty well-resourced ... with a pretty heavy commitment on the distribution side," Partridge says.

"Forward was doing some things that were frankly more advanced than what we were doing on the marketing and operations side," Partridge adds, pointing in particular to the investor intelligence group led by Forward's Preeti Malik.

On the investment side, Partridge confirms that Salient "did secure employment contracts with all of the key investment personnel."

"We haven't had any departures on the investment side," Partridge says. "We still are very intent on keeping all of the portfolio managers and senior analysts in place."

"We really shared a lot of the same investment philosophy," Partridge adds. "It's very much a process-driven investment approach, but we had virtually no overlap with our platforms ... We're positioned for growth."

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