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Bolton claims fund split move is blazing a trail

Fund manager legend Anthony Bolton says Fidelity has set a trend by splitting its special situations fund.

He says he would have thought that other fund firms have looked at their fund structures. Bolton says a variety of ideas were considered before the £6.5bn fund split in September 2005 but Fidelity was convinced that dividing the fund into UK and global portions was the “most commercially effective in the long term because it was best for investors”.

He says: “We were trailblazing. One thing we looked at was going completely global but we got a strong view from intermediaries that they did not want that, so we chose to split the fund in this fashion instead. We could have let it go on. It might have been more commercially effective in the short term.”

BestInvest head of communications Justin Modray says: “The issue is always going to be whether a massive fund can continue to outperform. If Neil Woodford splits his fund, there will be bad will unless he manages both and changes the mandate of one. It made sense for Fidelity to split the funds in light of Bolton’s retirement but I doubt that they would have for any other reason.”

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