Forward Management formed an alternative investment management unit, Forward Private Advisors, for institutional and high-net-worth investors. Michael Herr was named the unit's director; he was a managing director in the mergers and acquisitions area of Convergent Technologies. Palladium Capital Advisors was hired as the unit's broker-dealer, and Maple Financial Group was selected as the unit's first subadviser. Maple's first product will be the Maple Key Fund, a market-neutral hedge fund of funds, said Mr. Herr. Additional specialist asset managers will be sought as subadvisers for other alternative asset classes, such as real estate and private equity.