Fidelity Replaces Raker With Persaud to Run Dividend Funds

Dec 26, 2013 2:03 pm ET

(Updates with Fidelity comment in sixth paragraph.)

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Fidelity Investments, the world’s second-biggest mutual-fund company, said Ramona Persaud on Jan. 1 will take over management of two dividend growth funds that collectively manage almost $10 billion.

Persaud will replace Lawrence Rakers on Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund and Fidelity Advisor Dividend Growth Fund, according to regulatory filings made available Dec. 17. Rakers, who had run the funds since 2008, will take a position within Fidelity’s global asset-allocation unit, said Nicole Goodnow, a spokeswoman for the Boston-based firm.

The $8.7 billion Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund returned an annualized 12 percent over the past three years, behind 91 percent of similarly managed funds, and 31 percent in the past year, trailing 53 percent of rivals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The $1.1 billion Fidelity Advisor Dividend Growth Fund returned an annualized 12 percent over the past three years, behind 74 percent of peers, and 31 percent in the past year, behind 51 percent of peers.

Persaud, who’s been at Fidelity since 2003, also manages Fidelity Global Equity Income Fund, Fidelity Advisor Global Equity Income Fund and the global portion of Fidelity Equity Income Fund.

The $3 billion Fidelity Advisor Capital Development Fund also had a manager change, with Matthew Fruhan replacing Harlan Carere this month, according to a separate regulatory filing. Fruhan manages the $2.2 billion Fidelity Large Cap Stock Fund, which has returned an annualized 18 percent over the past three years, putting it ahead of 95 percent of rivals.

‘Best Interest’

“We believe that both of these appointments are in the best interest of the shareholders of the funds,” Goodnow said today in an e-mailed statement. “Any time we appoint a portfolio manager or managers to a particular fund, we closely examine a number of options to ensure that the structure we’re putting in place provides the fund with what we believe will be the potential to post successful returns.”

Morningstar Inc. reported the manager changes earlier today.

--Editors: Josh Friedman, Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam