The change in manager coincides with Bolton’s decision to retire from fund management and will see Nicholls assume responsibility for the UK-domiciled Fidelity China Special Situations PLC in April 2014.
Nicholls has 17 years of industry experience and has a similar management style to Bolton, according to Fidelity. He operates a bottom-up stock-picking style with a growth bias and a focus on small and mid-cap companies.
In order to allow a smooth handover of fund management responsibility, Bolton and Nicholls will work together on the strategy until April 1 2014 when Nicholls will assume sole responsibility.
Prior to managing the China Special Situations fund, Bolton has run a host of portfolios at Fidelity since joining the firm in December 1979. After April 2014, he will continue as an adviser to Fidelity and a trustee of its charitable foundations.
Commenting on the change, John Owen, chairman of the Fidelity China Special Situations fund, said: ‘Stepping into the shoes of Anthony is a significant challenge so we are delighted to have appointed a portfolio manager with a demonstrable record of success investing in the Asia Pacific region and specifically within China.’
‘We selected Dale to continue the research-driven stock-picking approach which we continue to believe is the route to success in this exciting market.’
According to Lipper data, the £510 million (€600 million) investment trust has returned 2.11% in GBP terms over the three years to the end of May. This compares to its benchmark, the MSCI China TR GBP, which rose 4.26% over the same period.