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Fidelity Makes Manager Changes

Three former Artio managers start their own firm and fund but keep their track record, The Hartford to liquidate its target-date series, and AMG takes a majority investment in yet another boutique manager.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 12/26/2013

Several Fidelity funds are changing managers. On Jan. 1, 2014, Ramona Persaud will take the helm of Fidelity Dividend Growth FDGFX and Fidelity Advisor Dividend Growth FDGTX from Larry Rakers. Rakers will join the firm's global asset-allocation group. Persaud has managed Fidelity Global Equity Income FGILX since its May 2012 inception and a small slice of Neutral-rated Fidelity Equity-Income FEQIX since October 2011. Persaud will boost her new charges' exposure to the market's behemoths and modestly raise their dividend yield in an effort to damp volatility. Rakers generated strong absolute returns during his five-year tenure, but his emphasis on cyclical fare juiced volatility.

Matt Fruhan replaced Harlan Carere on Dec. 16 at the helm of Fidelity Advisor Capital Development FDTTX. Carere posted a subpar record in his six-year tenure. Fruhan will continue to manage Silver-rated Fidelity Large Cap Stock FLCSX (which he's run since May 2005), Fidelity Mega Cap Stock FGRTX, and Bronze-rated Fidelity Growth & Income FGRIX.

Ex-Artio Managers Launch International-Equity Fund
Three former Artio managers have started their own firm, R Squared Capital Management, and recently launched their first mutual fund, which is devoted to international stocks.

Portfolio managers Rudolph-Riad Younes, Richard Pell, and Michael Testorf worked together for more than 15 years at Artio, which Aberdeen Asset Management purchased earlier this year. Younes and Pell were the managers of Artio International Equity, now known as Aberdeen Select International Equity BJBIX from 1995 until May 22 of this year. (Pell also was a named manager on what is now called Bronze-rated Aberdeen Total Return Bond BJBGX until May 22.)

Now, the trio have formed New York-based R Squared and have launched RSQ International Equity RSQVX. R Squared follows the same strategy that was used by Artio International Equity, a top-down and bottom-up stock-selection process that seeks long-term winners in both developed and emerging markets. The SEC is allowing them to use their entire track record from Artio including the months between the sale to Aberdeen and the launch of their new fund, during which time they managed a private, identically managed fund.

The new fund holds about 150 securities.

AMG Buys Majority Stake in SouthernSun Asset Management
On Dec. 19, Affiliated Managers Group AMG announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority equity interest in Memphis, Tenn.-based SouthernSun Asset Management, which has about $5 billion in assets.

Morningstar fund analysts cover more than 1,700 mutual funds and write regular commentary covering fund industry news, fund investing trends, picks, portfolio planning, international investing, and more.

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