Saturday, September 7, 2013

Retirement looms for Anthony Bolton - the City’s Quiet Assassin

It’s almost exactly 10 years since Anthony Bolton “knifed” Michael Green, the would-be chairman of ITV, in one of the most famous shareholder coups in British corporate history.

Mr Bolton was dubbed the City’s Quiet Assassin: never before had an investor – albeit the most successful fund manager in Britain – so suddenly and uncompromisingly blocked a board decision and ended a successful corporate career.

On Monday there were plenty wondering if, a decade on, Mr Bolton’s own career was ended by an investor revolt, too. The legendary fund manager, who ran Fidelity’s UK Special Situations fund for 28 years, announced his retirement on an unedifying low. His Fidelity China Special Situations, which he postponed his first retirement to launch, has recovered from losing a third of its value in its first year in 2010, but it is still showing big losses.

Sitting in Fidelity’s offices in the shadow of St Paul’s, Mr Bolton is candid about his recent performance but insists his retirement is entirely his decision.

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