After the abrupt resignation of L.C. Kvaal as head of its highly successful International Small Cap Fund, Fidelity Investments has named company veteran Ben Paton his successor, Reuters reports.

Kvaal has managed the $750 million fund since its inception in September 2002 along with Tokuyo Sano. The small-cap offering boasts an 80% return for 2003.

Paton, who has worked at Fidelity since 1995 when he came on as a researcher working out of London, is the latest in a line of Fidelity management shifts over the past few years.

A few well-known Fidelity fund managers, including David Glancy and Fergus Shield, quit the company last year. Experts say the turnover is nothing terribly notable, adding that several Fidelity formers have fired up their own hedge funds because of their recent success against mutual funds.

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