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Friday, August 04, 2006

Affinity Moves Forward with Fund

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Nearly a decade and a half after its founding by Gregory Lai, Affinity Investment Advisors has turned to a fund firm backed by Getty money for a foray into the Forth Act fund arena. Until now, the Irvine, California-based Affinity has concentrated on managing large cap equity separate accounts in the institutional market.

Lai, who was an equity manager at Pimco before starting Affinity in 1992, has teamed up with San Francisco-based Forward Funds for the firm's sole mutual fund.

Company officials report that the Forward Large Cap Equity Fund will launch in the fall. Forward will also assist with the distribution of Affinity's separately managed account, which will be marketed as the Forward Affinity Large Cap Equity Portfolio.

Forward was co-founded by Alan Reid with financial backing from Gordon Getty, son of J. Paul Getty of Getty Oil. Forward focuses on marketing and distribution of funds that are subadvised by investment managers who have made their reputation in the institional money management business.

"Affinity is a great fit for Forward," said Reid in a statement. "We have a long history of strategic partnerships with investment firms that have strong track records of success. Given Affinity's 14-year track record in the large cap space, we are excited to take their expertise to an even broader market."

Lai explained that the partnership will allow the fund to reach new distribution travels.

"Their sales and marketing expertise will enable us to reach new channels, including individual investors with the launch of the new mutual fund," he said. 

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