Alternative mutual fund purveyor Forward Funds is aiming to grow its institutional client base with the hiring of Ann Cheu as vice president for Consultant Relations.
Cheu was most recently at Mercer Investment Consulting, where she was a senior associate.
Forward's move to bolster its consultant outreach reflects the consulting community's integral role in institutional decision-making, according to Clay Smudsky, president of Forward's institutional business.
"Working closely with consultants is essential if you want to forge new institutional relationships, and that's doubly true given Forward's focus on strategies that transcend traditional style boxes," he stated. "Having Ann on board lets us increase our dialogue with consultants on how our strategies fit into institutional portfolios."
The firm currently serves more than a dozen major institutional clients including banks and bank trust departments, foundations and endowments, retirement plans and family offices. Smudsky said he plans to further expand Forward's institutional team in the coming months.
Forward's product lineup includes 12 alternative strategies available as mutual funds or managed accounts.