James Moore: Mr Bolton with Chinese characteristics

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Outlook When Anthony Bolton speaks, it usually pays to listen. Quite literally, given the way Fidelity's Special Situations fund performed when he was in charge of it.

There was one thing he said yesterday that is best taken with a pinch of soy sauce – China being the "only thing" that could have tempted him back into fund management. Mr Bolton is clearly a man who can't give it up, and spending his time taking it easy doing a bit of marketing as a "Mr Fidelity" was never going to prove a satisfying way for him to spend his time.

But his reasons for selecting China as the venue for his return to active fund management duties are worth taking much more seriously.

Mr Bolton says the West has mortgaged its future and faces years of lower growth as the penalty for the mess its banks have got it into.

He sees China as the future. While he's not exactly alone in that, it speaks volumes that despite hardly being a young man, he has relocated to Hong Kong to try his hand there.

It will be interesting to see how the Chinese react to him. Mr Bolton had something of a reputation over here, gaining the (unwanted) nickname of "the quiet assassin" for the way he struck fear into Britain's boardrooms. There are plenty of complacent directors, growing fat on fees, who were only too glad when he exited stage left. They remember with a shudder the way he orchestrated the defenestration of Michael Green, scuppering the latter's plans to become chairman of ITV.

It goes without saying that Mr Bolton was usually in the right, although it will be interesting to see how the practitioners of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" react to that sort of behaviour.

Comments