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Fund Times: Manager Change at Fidelity New Millennium

Plus, news on Neuberger, ING Group, RiverSource, Thornburg, Nuveen, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 06/19/2006

Fidelity sector fund manager John Roth will take over management of $3.3 billion Fidelity New Millennium FMILX, Fidelity said last week. Roth will succeed Neal Miller, who has run the offering since 1992.

Since 2004, Roth has managed both the Fidelity Select Consumer Industries FSCPX and Fidelity Advisor Consumer Industries FCNAX funds. Formerly, he was manager at Fidelity Select Utilities Growth FSUTX (1999 to 2002) and Fidelity Select Chemicals Portfolio FSCHX (2002 to 2004). It remains to be seen how Roth's stock-picking style will change the look of the fund, as Miller's free-ranging and eclectic management style is not easily replicable.

Martin Zinny and Robert Lee have been named co-portfolio managers on Roth's former charges, Fidelity Select Consumer Industries and Fidelity Advisor Consumer Industries. Both joined Fidelity in 2001, as equity research analysts.

Fidelity to Restructure Sector Fund Lineup

Fidelity Investments announced June 15 that it plans to give nearly its entire lineup of Select and Advisor Focus sector funds new benchmark indexes. A few funds also will change names. Fidelity is switching to MSCI, which offers an index to match nearly every sector and industry fund in the lineup.

One positive result of the change is that investors will now be able to more accurately measure the performance of these funds. With 58 distinct sector or industry funds, we certainly think that a greater focus on accurate benchmarking is a positive step. We've been critical of these funds' high manager turnover and narrow focus.

Neuberger Berman International Fund to Close

Neuberger Berman Management Inc. will close Neuberger Berman International NBISX to new investors July 31, now that the fund is approaching $2 billion in assets. Existing investors will be able to continue to make purchases in their accounts. We're encouraged by this move to control asset size, because this fund's all-cap blend strategy, while flexible, could be hampered if assets were to get out of control.

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