Plus, First Data buyout boosts funds, manager changes at Fidelity, and more.
Longtime, highly respected manager Margie Patel resigned March 30 from Pioneer High Yield
From High Yield's inception, Patel ran the fund in a distinctive, and contrarian, value-oriented style. She sought industries with improving prospects and attempted to avoid those corporate sectors that were overly troubled. This analysis led her to avoid in the early 2000s the telecommunications sector, which was a sizable part of the high-yield market before suffering disastrous performance.
Patel's early use of alternatives to high-yield corporate bonds, such as convertible securities and equities, helped the fund move very differently from category peers, often to investors benefit. For instance, from the fund's inception in 1998 to the end of 2002, returns here were cumulatively more than 50%, while the category suffered a loss of 3.5% over the period. The avoidance of an imploding telecom sector and the deft use of converts drove much of that performance. To be sure, there were times when the fund underperformed, but Patel keenly stayed one step ahead of much of the competition. More recently, for example, she showed considerable talent in running an equity fund, Pioneer Equity Opportunity
We're disappointed about Patel's loss at one of Pioneer's larger funds, but we're curious to see where she ends up. Investors should take a wait-and-see approach.
First Data Buyout Boosts Funds
First Data Corp.'s
Sure to be disappointed were managers Bill Nygren and Henry Berghoef of Oakmark Select
Fidelity Shuffles Managers at Two Niche Funds
Select Materials' new manager, Duffy Fischer, succeeds Jody J. Simes, its skipper since mid-2003. Fisher is in only his second year at Fidelity, though he gathered seven years of experience and industrials sector knowledge as a sell-side analyst at Goldman Sachs. He also manages Fidelity Select Chemicals