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Morgan Stanley Fund Goes Global

Plus, Fidelity loses another CIO, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 03/29/2010

Change is on the horizon at Morgan Stanley Strategist SRTAX, a moderate-allocation offering. The fund's board recently approved the addition of "Global" to the fund's name and will adjust its strategy accordingly. Fund analyst Greg Carlson says this is a significant change because the fund's foreign stake has typically been scant. The new name and mandate will take effect March 31.

Mark Bavoso has run the fund since 1994 and remains on board. Comanagers David Armstrong and Sanjay Verma, who have run the fixed-income portfolio, are being replaced by Francine Bovich and Henry McVey. Armstrong has been on the fund since early 2005, and Verma since late 2008. Bovich has been with Morgan Stanley since 1993, and McVey served as the firm's chief U.S. investment strategist and then spent two years at Fortress Investment Group before returning to Morgan Stanley last year.

Along with other changes at the Morgan Stanley funds (they're being merged, along with Van Kampen's, into Invesco) this shift is part of Morgan Stanley's broader push to give their funds more of a global purview. For example, the former Morgan Stanley Utilities changed its name to Morgan Stanley Global Infrastructure UTLAX in late 2008 and increased its foreign exposure from 20% to 70%.

Fidelity International CIO Departing
Another big leadership change affecting Fidelity's international funds was made public this week. Nicky Richards, Fidelity International's chief investment officer, will leave the firm at the end of the month according to a report in IFA Online. She'd joined Fidelity in 2006 and was named CIO in 2007. Fidelity International is separate from FMR International; the latter's chief investment officer for international equity, Eric Wetlaufer, is also leaving at the end of this month.

Fidelity International provides research services for all of Fidelity's international funds and manages others, especially regionally focused ones like Emerging Markets FEMKX and Southeast Asia FSEAX.

Effective April 1, E. Wells Beck will replace Amy LaGuardia as co-portfolio manager of Barrett Opportunity SAOPX.

David Sand is off the portfolio management team of Access Capital Community Investment ACASX and is no longer with RBC Global Asset Management. John M. Huber, Brian Svendahl, and Todd Brux continue to serve as the fund's comanagers.

Delaware Optimum Fixed Income OAFIX will change its subadvisor to PIMCO from TCW Investment Management on April 1.

Mutual fund analysts David Falkof and David Kathman contributed to this report.

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