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IMS backs Fidelity’s special sits

Manager says fund split is innovative way of dealing with Bolton’s departure

Investment Manager Selection is backing Fidelity’s special situations fund to continue its success despite the forthcoming departure of star fund manager Anthony Bolton.

The multi-manager has increased its holding in the fund by 2 per cent but will be monitoring it closely in the run up to Bolton’s departure.

The IMS select fund now has a 6.9 per cent weighting in the £5.4bn flagship fund. The top-up was made before Fidelity decided to stem cash inflows into the fund by raising the initial charge to 5.25 per cent.

Fidelity will split the fund in half subject to an investor vote in 2006. Bolton will run both funds on the same basis until the end of that year, when he will hand control of one half to another manager, who is yet to be named. In 2007, he will move into a mentoring role for Fidelity’s managers and a replacement will be appointed for the remaining half of the fund. IMS believes the split is an innovative way of dealing with Bolton’s departure and points out that each half of the portfolio will still be big enough to absorb fund of funds money.

The firm will also be broadening its product range after attaining regulatory approval for the acquisition of multi-manager MM Asset Management, which is active in the corporate pension market.

IMS director Paul Kim says: “Anthony is a manager we have known for a long time and the size of the fund has not been a problem for him. He has been performing superbly and is consistently top quartile in the UK all companies sector. We wanted to top up our exposure to the fund because he is not leaving his half of it until November 2007, so we still have certainty.”

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