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Stansky Seen as a 'Growth' Stock Man

May 24, 1996|From Reuters

BOSTON — Robert Stansky, the man named to manage the Magellan Fund, has a strong record running mutual funds at Fidelity Investments and should help get the nation's biggest fund back on track, industry analysts said Thursday.

They predict Stansky will transform the $56-billion fund back into one of the best-performing in the country, as it was under the legendary Peter Lynch, who was once Stansky's boss at Boston-based Fidelity.

Still, Stansky has a big job ahead. Magellan dwarfs the two other Fidelity funds he has run in recent years. And the sheer size of Magellan made it difficult for Stansky's predecessor, Jeff Vinik, to chalk up stellar returns, some analysts said.

Stansky said he plans no drastic changes.

"I'm going to run the Magellan fund . . . in the classic Fidelity way, with a bottoms-up, stock-by-stock approach, finding companies who will grow their earnings over the long run . . . to find the big winners for the fund," Stansky said in a videotaped statement provided by Fidelity.

Several professional fund watchers said Stansky will probably lighten Magellan's bond holdings, which stood at 19.2% of assets as of March 31, up from 1.5% on Oct. 31.

"One would assume that Stansky may not be quite as bullish on long-term bonds," said Bill Meehan at Prudential Securities.

Stansky, known for an aggressive investment approach, joined Fidelity 13 years ago. After a short stint as a research analyst, he became assistant to then-Magellan manager Lynch, who earned a reputation as a stock picker with the Midas touch.

Stansky stayed with Lynch from 1984 to 1987, three of the seven years Lynch made Magellan the top-performing growth fund in the country. At the same time, he became portfolio manager for Fidelity Select Defense and Aerospace Portfolio.

He was given his current funds, the Growth Company Fund and the Advisor Equity Portfolio: Growth, to manage in 1987. Their performance has beaten more than 95% of stock funds in that period, a Fidelity spokeswoman said.

Stansky's top 10 holdings for the Growth Company Fund as of March 31, the latest figures available, were: General Electric, Federal National Mortgage Assn., Philip Morris, Oracle, Citicorp, US Robotics, Cisco Systems, Chrysler, Loews and American Express.

The fund's assets stood at $7.99 billion as of April 30.

From when he took the reins through April 30, Stansky's cumulative return was 280.39%, Fidelity spokeswoman Camille Lepre said.

Over the same period, the Standard & Poor's 500 returned 197.34%, the Lipper General Equity index return was 174.22% and the Lipper Growth index was 173.29%.

"He beat 94% of the general equity funds during that time period and 95% of the growth funds," Lepre said.

The Fidelity Advisor Equity Portfolio: Growth fund had assets of $2.75 billion. Its top 10 holdings were GE, the Federal National Mortgage Assn., Oracle, Philip Morris, US Robotics, Citicorp, Cisco Systems, Chrysler, Johnson & Johnson and American Express.

Stansky will take control at Magellan on June 3. Vinik will stay on until June 30 to help with the transition, Lepre said.

Stansky lives with his wife and four children in a Boston suburb.

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