Decision on whether to the enter market expected by the end of 2003 following pilot
Fidelity is piloting an unfettered fund of funds portfolio to determine whether it should enter the market later this year.
The fund is seeded with Fidelity's own money and is being run by Richard Skelt, manager of Fidelity's fettered range of funds. The project started in mid September and there is no set length of time for the pilot.
A decision on whether the group will enter the external fund of funds market is expected by the end of 2003.
Paul Kafka, communications director at Fidelity, said if Fidelity is confident it can offer a viable proposition, a range of unfettered products is likely to be launched.
Until now, Fidelity has kept away from the unfettered fund of funds market but Kafka said the group is keen to keep abreast of demand.
Fidelity has had an external fund of funds offering through its discretionary money management service in the US since 1989.
Meanwhile at the group, Thierry Serero, manager of the £368m Fidelity European Opportunities fund for the past seven years, announced his departure last week.
The A-rated portfolio is being taken over by Colin Stone this week. Stone will retain the Fidelity Funds European Smaller Companies mandate he has run since launch in 1995.
Stone shares Serero's bottom-up growth style but will alter the fund's mid and small-cap bias to a large and small-cap focus.
Stone's experience predominantly lies in small caps but he will increase the fund's blue-chip weighting and ease some of its strong sector and country bets to reduce volatility.
Fidelity European Opportunities is ranked 23 out of 88 funds over three years to 6 January, having returned -38.1% versus a sector average -40.4%, offer to bid.
Fidelity has also had a reshuffle of its heads of desks resulting in Sally Walden, previously a UK growth manager at the group, taking the role of head of UK and European equities.
This follows the promotion of UK and European chief investment officer, Simon Fraser, to overall CIO of Fidelity International, second only to US-based group CIO, vice chairman Barry Bateman.
At the same time, Martin Hall has been confirmed as UK head of fixed interest after nine months as acting head. Hall's predecessor, Andy Jenkins, stepped down last March and has since transferred to Fidelity's Singapore office on the business development side.
Elsewhere, Debra Rumble and Geraldine Stewart replace Brenda Reed, manager of the newly launched Global Focus fund, as UK co-heads of research.
The group has also formed a six-strong global sector team, which will pool the group's regional research and apply a global sector perspective.
This Boston-based team will also assume control of the offshore Fidelity Funds Sector funds over the course of 2003.
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