The business on...Anthony Bolton, President, Fidelity International
Saturday 18 June 2011
Our answer to Warren Buffett?
He always has been. Mr Bolton, now 61, was hired by Fidelity at the age of 29 and ran its Special Situations Fund for 28 years before stepping down in 2007. He made an average return of 20 per cent a year.
What's he been doing since then?
Mr Bolton caused great excitement last year by announcing he wasmoving to the Far East to run a Chinese version of Special Situations for Fidelity. Having raised £460m from expectant investors, he's been working out of Hong Kong for just over a year now.
Another triumph, presumably?
Not quite. Mr Bolton himself describes his recent performance as "disappointing". This week, for the first time, the share price of China Special Situations has dipped below the April 2010 issue price – so investors who've been in from the start are in the red – and it is down 20 per cent during 2011 so far.
Has he lost his touch?
Let's hope not. But there were those who were cynical about this fund from the start: Mr Bolton is investing in Chinese companies from Hong Kong and doesn't speak Mandarin. Still, his long-term record speaks for itself, and the Chinese stock market was always going to prove volatile. Annual results are due next week, so we'll hear what he has to say.
Might he quit?
Unlikely. He's moved his whole family to Hong Kong, which demonstrates his commitment, and every fund manager goes through rough patches – the trick is not to panic.
Still, this is a ruthless business...
No one knows that better than Mr Bolton. He's known in the City as the "quiet assassin" for the way in which he ousted Michael Green, the boss of ITV, in 2004 – Mr Bolton was one of ITV's biggest shareholders at the time and was decidedly unimpressed with its management.
Anything else he could do?
Well, he doesn't need the money, but there's always music. Mr Bolton relaxes by composing classical music and has had work performed at St Paul's Cathedral.
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