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Blow for Fidelity as manager quits American fund

Fidelity has been hit by the resignation of star fund manager John Muresianu in a move that IFAs describe as one of the biggest blows to an investment house this year.

After avoiding the spate of fund manager moves engulfing the industry, Fidelity has been left facing a battle to retain investors in its £1.4bn American fund following Muresianu&#39s decision to quit to spend more time with his family.

The fund, which is Fidel-ity&#39s second-biggest selling product after Anthony Bolton&#39s special situations fund, has been taken over by Boston-based Fergus Shiel, who has been with Fidelity for 13 years and manages three equity funds in the US.

IFAs have put the American fund on hold but are advising investors to stay with the fund until they see how Shiel, who now has more than £5bn of assets under management, performs in his new role.

Chartwell associate director Patrick Connolly says: “This is a big, big blow to Fidelity. The American fund was one area where they were clearly head and shoulders above the competition.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It is a substantial loss. Muresianu is one of the top two or three retail managers in the US sector although Fidelity is a very durable house.”

Fidelity head of IFA business Stuart Holah says: “While fund managers leaving Fidelity&#39s international organisation is a rare occurrence, it is part and parcel of running a fund management business.

“The key is that we are prepared for this. Because Fidelity adopts a team app-roach to investing, we take a less deterministic approach to succession than less well resourced firms.”

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