Fidelity man takes over at JF unit

JARDINE Fleming Unit Trusts took on board its new chief executive Tim McCarthy yesterday to tackle the group's administration problems and expand its retail fund business.

Mr McCarthy was head-hunted from arch-rival Fidelity Investments and will also become a board director of parent Jardine Fleming Holdings.

He said the group would look to broaden its investment product range to widen the choices for clients and to include a wider range of client investment profiles.

From 1987 to last month Mr McCarthy was president of Fidelity Investments Advisor and a director of National Financial Services Corp, a Fidelity services group in Boston.

His appointment follows a rocky period for JF Unit Trusts when it was forced to close its doors to new business and limits were placed on unit-holders in funds, because it could not cope with the paper work.

The fund group saw a doubling in its client base from 29,000 to 60,000 unit-holders in six months, after launching new telephone and customer friendly account services in Hong Kong.

'There were problems in the year. I think Jardine Fleming handled them well and I am impressed how focused they are about getting things right,' said Mr McCarthy.

The group would look to increase co-operation with 50 per cent parent Robert Fleming in Britain.

In Hong Kong, Jardine Fleming has US$23 billion under management and globally Robert Fleming has $73 billion under management.

At Fidelity, Mr McCarthy specialised in customer service and administration along with technology support.

He replaces Tony Doggart, who was seconded from Robert Fleming in London to handle the administration problems, that closed the unit trust shop and retail business activities in January.

They did not formally open again until the summer.