Breaking The Bond With Fidelity

AFTER A YEAR OF FLAT-OUT bad results, Fidelity Investment's top bond executive is resigning. Thomas Steffanci will step down on Feb. 28 as head of Fidelity's bond mutual funds, in part because of disagreements with investment chief Gary Burkhead, sources say. Burkhead stepped up his supervision of bond funds last year, pressing managers to make more conservative investments. No wonder: After losing bets on Latin American debt, derivatives, and long-term bonds, the firm's bond assets shrank 11%, to $24 billion, last year. Steffanci said his decision to leave was "purely personal."

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