"Fantastic" and a "big surprise" is how advisers and multi-managers are describing the return to running money of Fidelity's iconic fund manager Anthony Bolton. But some offer a word of warning...
Ben Yearsley, Hargreaves Lansdown investment manager: "It is a big reputation risk for him [Bolton]. He was on the top when he left and it will be a change to running big UK and European portfolios. He was the best stock picker of his generation and people will buy this because it is Bolton. Will we be recommending it over Jupiter or First State initially? It is unlikely. You must also consider the impact on the UK team, which could always call on his expertise."
Martin Bamford, managing director of IFA Informed Choice: "His historical performance will attract an awful lot of investors and therein lays a potential problem - they could follow him blindly into what remains a difficult and risky market. China is right at the top end of the risk spectrum so it might be an idea for Fidelity to raise the minimum investment in the fund so as not to attract run of the mill investors. Being based in China will put Bolton at a huge advantage over those managers running China money from elsewhere."
Adrian Lowcock, senior investment adviser at Bestinvest: "Fidelity has a strong presence in Asia and it is bound to attract a lot of money. It is a big endorsement for China and will draw lots of attraction from UK investors to the region. It is a bit different though, Bolton's Special Situations was a core portfolio. China will not be a core holding for UK investors."
Darius McDermott, Chelsea Financial Services' managing director: "It is like the famous sports stars that miss the game and need to feel the rush of blood again. He is a proven investor and has always had an interest and at time invested quite a bit in China through the Fidelity Special Situations fund."
Mark Harris and Craig Heron, Henderson New Star multi-managers: "We believe China still offers investors attractive opportunities on a long-term basis, however, investors should be aware of the evident shorter-term risks. It goes without saying that we wish Anthony Bolton the best of luck in his new venture."
Andrew Merricks, head of investment at Skerritt Consultants: "I'm surprised he is suddenly an expert in Chinese stocks having been an authority in the UK all this time. Does he think he will be able to transfer his knowledge from one place to another? The thing is you need to know your markets and your stocks and I'm not sure it will be as easy as to say: ‘Well I did it in this [UK] market, so I'll be able to do it in that one."
Aidan Kearney, Aberdeen co-head of multi-manager: "It is just an extension of what Fidelity is already doing in the region. They have a big and established presence there and this is a proven and big name who will no doubt bring in quite a lot of assets. Would we buy into it? I am not sure."
Rob Burdett, Thames River multi-manager: "It is a big surprise; it will be interesting to hear the story why. A lot of comebacks do not work, let's just hope he follows the Andre Agassi path. We have never had a pure Chinese fund, we play the country though Asia and the emerging markets fund."
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