One of Fidelity Investments' longest-serving managers, George Vanderheiden, 54, will retire from active portfolio management duties Feb. 1.
Mr. Vanderheiden, a Fidelity veteran of 29 years, said he has become "time poor" as his outside interests have expanded.
"Now I am going to reclaim my life, to bring some balance back. I want to enjoy the natural world while I'm still young enough to do it. If you ask me where my office is, it will be a mountain in Colorado one week, the Serengeti Plain the next," Mr. Vanderheiden said.
"This is a mentally stimulating job; I can't think of a better one. But you feel like you're in a concrete jail . . . and this job is 65 hours a week. I want to climb mountains, to hike, to kayak rivers."
Mr. Vanderheiden manages about $36 billion in three funds: Destiny I, Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities; and the VIP III Growth Opportunities Fund, its variable insurance clone.
In the 20 years that he has managed the Destiny I Fund, Mr. Vanderheiden's performance has bested 98% of peer funds and the Standard & Poor's 500 index by 1,000 percentage points, noted his boss, FMR Corp. President Robert Pozen.
Mr. Vanderheiden will remain a director of FMR Corp., Boston, and will mentor younger portfolio managers, said Mr. Pozen.
Karen Firestone will take over management of the Destiny I Fund. She will continue to manage two large-cap stock funds as well.
Bettina Doulton will assume management of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund and its clone fund. Her duties managing the equity portion of the Puritan Fund will be assumed by Stephen R. Petersen, who manages the Fidelity Equity-Income Fund. Ms. Doulton's duties as manager of the Equity-Income II Fund will be assumed by Stephen M. DuFour. Robert D. Ewing, who has been managing sector funds, will take over management of the Fidelity Balanced Fund from Mr. DuFour.