Jed Weiss Speaks to Jim Lowell About His Leave of Absence

Jed Weiss, manager of International Growth (FIGFX) which we own in our Aggressive Growth Growth and Growth & Income model portfolios, and who also manages International Small Cap Opportunities (FSCOX), has announced that he will be taking a personal leave of absence from June 15 through November 29.

My view: He’s clearly thought about this, derived a plan, and scheduled his time and timing for maximum return. Jed is among the most passionate and committed Fidelity managers you’ll ever meet. He’s keeping his own money in his funds while on this planned leave of absence—I recommend doing the same.

Jed Weiss and I caught up quickly on his leave of absence announcement.

Jed is keeping all his current money and his family’s money in his funds. “Yes, absolutely. I am totally committed to my funds, Fidelity and my career, which I view as a marathon, not a sprint.” Jed said. “There is not a question about whether or not I will return to my funds on November 29—I absolutely will.”

Jed has worked very closely with Vincent Montemaggiore—who will be serving as interim manager for International Growth—all the way back to when he was an intern at Fidelity. (Read the full disclosure for the complete details of who will be overseeing Weiss’ funds in his absence.) Vincent was Jed’s top choice to serve as interim steward—he understands Jed’s process and runs his own fund with a very similar philosophy, focus and discipline.

When I asked Jed whether we should expect to see many changes to his portfolio, Jed replied: “You should not expect any significant repositioning of the fund(s) while I’m gone. I fully expect [the fund’s] annualized turnover rate will be at least as low if not lower than normal—this is not a moment for repositioning the fund.”

Jed will be on leave but always accessible to Vincent Montemaggiore, the team, Fidelity, and no doubt us if absolutely necessary.

Jed took a leave of absence 15 years ago and found it rejuvenating and invigorating. He thinks this moment, which he has been thinking about for a long time, and working with Fidelity management to structure correctly for his shareholders, is the optimal moment to derive maximum benefit from a leave of absence.