Fidelity reveals fund split timetable

Fidelity will name the manager of the new fund created by the proposed Special Situations split in June. The firm revealed its timetable for the changes in a letter sent to investors and advisers last week.

According to the letter, voting packs will be sent to investors mid-June and a shareholder meeting and vote will take place in late July. The fund’s assets will then be divided mid-September, subject to approval, and investors will receive one share in each fund for every share in Special Situations. Further documents detailing the new holdings will be sent following the split.

“The new fund will have a different name and mandate,” says Peter Hicks, head of the IFA channel. “The investment objective is going through approval at present but will be sufficiently different [from Special Situations] to put clear blue water between the two funds.

“The fund has to be different and attractive in its own right to bring in new investors.”

The value investment style of the funds will remain unchanged, he adds.

Following the split, Anthony Bolton will continue to run both portfolios until the end of 2006, and the smaller Special Situations portfolio until the end of 2007. Bolton will then take on a mentoring role within the group at the start of 2008.

Special Situations’ assets have grown since the announcement of the split, says Hicks. Funds under management were 5.4bn when the decision was made public and 6.5bn at the end of March.

Most of this growth can be attributed to positive market movements, but Hicks says it vindicates the firm’s decision to soft close the portfolio, using increased charges.

“It shows that containment was the right thing to do,” he says. “If you do not take pre-emptive action, you can get caught out.”

Fidelity does not intend to change the charging structure before the split, he adds.

In a separate move, Simon Ellis has been appointed head of Fidelity’s multi-manager business. Ellis, formerly head of UK retail at Axa Investment Managers, will report to Simon Fraser, president of institutional business at the firm.

Fidelity has more than 800m in multi-manager structures.