Fidelity ousts manager of struggling Magellan fund

NEW YORK (AP) ? Fidelity Investments on Tuesday said it is replacing the manager of its struggling Magellan fund, once the largest mutual fund in the world.

Jeffrey S. Feingold, manager of Boston-based Fidelity’s Trend fund and several others, will succeed Henry Lange, who led Magellan since 2005.

Lange was the latest in a series of managers to run the well-known fund since its star manager Peter Lynch left in 1990. His tenure has been marked by disappointing performance ? the fund lagged large-cap growth rivals by more than 90 percent in the six years since he took over, according to Morningstar.

Year-to-date, Magellan (FMAGX) is down 12.6 percent, compared with a 7.6 percent decline in the S&P 500.

Feingold is taking over a fund with just $17.4 billion in assets, a far cry from Magellan’s heyday.

After swelling to $64 billion under Lynch, the fund closed to new investors in 1997 because it became so big it was hard to manage effectively. By August 2000, its assets reached nearly $110 billion.

But in January 2008, the fund was reopened as mediocre performance and investors cashing out had reduced it to $45 billion.

Assets declined even further during the financial crisis, due to large holdings in stocks like American International Group Inc. and Wachovia. And it has made key missteps since, according to Morningstar analyst Christopher Davis, like hanging on to its largest holding, Nokia Corp., after the cellphone maker was eclipsed by smartphone competitors.

Feingold has worked at Fidelity since 1997, and will continue to manage Fidelity’s Trend Fund, Large Cap Growth Fund, Advisor Strategic Growth Fund and VIP Growth Stock Portfolio in addition to Magellan.