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Forward Nabs Nicholas-Applegate Exec

With a lucrative offer unprecedented for the firm, Forward Management has swiped its new director of sales from managed account giant Nicholas-Applegate, it was announced last week. Richard Duff, Nicholas-Applegate's former national sales manager, was selected by the San Francisco-based firm to lead efforts to expand its managed account business.

Forward lured Duff away from Nicholas-Applegate with an equity stake in the firm, he said, rendering him the first executive at Forward to have such ownership. "I'm the first person in the firm that owns equity," Duff said. "That was a big part of it for me."

Conversely, he said, the acquisition of Nicholas-Applegate by Allianz late last year made his chances of earning a partnership or equity stake with that company next to impossible. Duff helped build Nicholas-Applegate's managed account and client service teams for the wirehouse channel. He also managed the sales of the firm's retail funds before Nicholas-Applegate sold them to Pilgrim Baxter.

Prior to working for Nicholas-Applegate, Duff was the senior investment officer at Pacific Income Advisers where he landed distribution agreements for the firm's managed accounts with several large distributors including Morgan Stanley and Paine Webber.

In the coming year, Duff said Forward will expand its fund offerings, adding between five and seven new funds. In addition, the firm plans to round out its managed account and separately managed account businesses with additional offerings, he said.

Currently, the San Francisco-based asset manager offers a group of four sub-advised funds, two managed accounts and one separate account product. It distributes its funds through 13 broker/dealers and wirehouses including: Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TDWaterhouse, E*Trade, Ameritrade and Morgan Stanley.