JFÆs new Japan brain

A new hand rests on the tiller of JFÆs $416 million Japan Fund, and it is steering toward more risk.

JF Funds, the Jardine Fleming equities giant, hopes a new fund manager can reverse the recent troubles at its JF Japan Fund. It is one of the largest single foreign funds operating in Japan and has been in existence for 30 years, so JF executives like to think of it as the Magellan Fund of Asia. Just as the real Magellan Fund in the US made the wrong call in 1999 by moving too early into bonds, the JF Japan Fund took the wrong bet in 2000. Then-fund manager Richard Whittall had pumped the fund so heavily into high-tech that it no longer resembled a flagship country fund, and the tremendous gains he amassed...

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