During that period, Magellan's assets under management grew to $14 billion from $20 million, as people new to investing avidly bought mutual funds and helped spur the mutual fund industry's exponential growth. By 2000, Magellan's assets had ballooned to $110 billion. Unfortunately for Fidelity, Lynch's successors couldn't come close to his record. Now there have been five managers since Lynch, with Lange holding the longest tenure at six years. Since he started in November 2005 and through his departure last week, Magellan lagged more than 90% of its large-growth rivals with its mere break-even returns, according to Morningstar. In 2008 alone, Magellan lost 49% versus the S&P 500's 37% decline. Fund assets are now down to $17 billion. Morningstar gives Magellan a lowly one-star rating out of a possible five. Lange was preceded by Robert Stansky, who during his tenure was criticized for tracking the S&P 500 Index. Russ Kinnel, a mutual fund industry analyst at Morningstar, said the replacement of Lange came as no surprise. "I had been speculating it would happen in the first quarter." He said Lang and Stansky "were both quite disappointing" as managers of Magellan. The new manager is Jeffrey Feingold, a Fidelity employee since 1997 and currently the manager of Fidelity Trend Fund ( FTRNX) since 2007. He also manages the $152 million Fidelity Large Cap Growth Fund ( FSLGX), and two small funds. The $1 billion Trend fund, a large-cap growth fund, beat the S&P 500 in three out of the past four years, but it's down 2.5% this year versus the S&P 500's 3% gain. Another big mutual fund seeing manager turnover is the $2.1 billion Janus Worldwide Fund ( JAWWX). On March 14, George Maris took over the fund from interim manager Brent Lynn who was on the job 10 months. He replaced Laurent Saltiel, who managed the fund for all of 13 months. Janus Worldwide, a large blend fund, is down 13% this year versus the 10% decline for other funds in its category, putting it in the 81st percentile. Perhaps more telling is that it's eked out an average annual return of 0.8% over the past 10 years, putting it in the 97th percentile for the period, a performance that long-term investors should find tough to stomach.
Venerable fund manager Bill Miller, once named a Morningstar fund manager of the decade for his work at the Legg Mason Value Trust ( LGVAX), is also under pressure, even though he's been on the job since 1982. Over the past five years, the Value Trust has fallen an annual average 8.3%, and this year it's down 11%. That performance has likely contributed to investor run-off, as it now has $3.4 billion in assets, compared with $21 billion at its peak a decade ago. Morningstar's Kinnel said the situation for Miller is different from that of Lange due to his longevity and good -- formerly great -- long-term record. "But I would expect he's feeling the pressure as he's had a long difficult go at it." Miller is reportedly increasingly sharing the management burden with other fund managers at the firm. Fidelity fund manager Keith Quinton, who has run the $10 billion Fidelity Disciplined Equity Fund ( FDEQX) since 2006, may also be looking over his shoulder. Over the past three years, Disciplined Equity's performance ranking puts it in the 96th percentile in its large blend fund category, as ranked by Morningstar. It's not much better over five years, where it's in the 91st percentile.
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