As Citywire first reported Venanzi will step away from running the fund over the summer, with Jennifer Fo Cardillo and Slava Kruzement named interim co-managers.
Starting on February 2, new individual investors are not be able to open new accounts in the fund. However, existing shareholders of the fund can still add to their accounts and group employer retirement plans can still invest in the fund, if it was established as a plan option before the soft-close date.
Citywire AAA-rated Venanzi, who has been with the firm since 2001, also manages the $1.6 billion Fidelity Stock Selector Small Cap fund and the $5.9 billion Fidelity Series Small Cap Opportunities fund.
‘He is fully supported by his managers in Fidelity and the firm,’ a Fidelity spokesman had told Citywire. ‘He’s asked to take some time away from Fidelity for personal reasons.’
Launched in November 2004, the fund has returned 62.5 % over the past three years until the end of January and ranks 11 out of all 142 Small-Cap Growth Funds tracked by Citywire.
'We believe limiting new purchases is in the best interests of the funds’ existing shareholders, in part, because it helps achieve more stable cash flows,' said a Fidelity spokesman.
Separately, Morningstar's manager research group has downgraded its rating on the $2.6 billion Fidelity Advisor Small Cap fund from Silver to Bronze.
Morningstar analyst Christopher Franz said that the fund's conservative process had held it back over a full market cycle, while portfolio manager James M. Harmon's more conservative style has led him to eschew speculative growth areas, such as biotech in an extended bull market.
'The fund may hold up in the next sustained downturn, and it retains solid risk-adjusted returns under Harmon. However, average fees relative to small-cap peers don't help it get ahead,' wrote Franz in his latest fund analysis.
Launched in 1998, the fund has returned 29.3 % over the past three years until the end of January and ranks 211 out of 253 Small-Cap Core Funds tracked by Citywire.
'Since Jamie began managing the fund in 2005, his style has provided shareholders with consistent performance and downside protection in falling markets, which many shareholders appreciate,' said the same spokesman. 'It’s also important to note that by virtue of its Bronze rating, Morningstar continues to recommend the fund.'