Former Pictet manager handed T Rowe Price MENA fund

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The T Rowe Price Middle East and Africa fund has undergone its second manager change this year following the appointment of Oliver Bell.

The former Pictet fund manager takes charge of the Luxembourg-domiciled, $6.6 million fund having joined T Rowe at its London office in October 2011.

He takes over management of the fund from Christopher Alderson (pictured).

This is Alderson’s second stint at the helm of the fund, having previously run it between 2007 and 2009, only to step back from fund management to assume his new senior role in April 2009.

However, Alderson was called on to once again to oversee the fund on a temporary basis in May 2011 following the departure of Joseph Rohm, who managed the fund between March 2009 and April 2011. Rohm relocated to South Africa.

Incoming manager Bell joins from Pictet where he worked as an emerging market research manager before becoming a portfolio manager with a focus on MENA investment opportunities.

He was appointed head of global emerging markets at Pictet in 2009 and also managed the firm’s Indian equity offering.

The T Rowe MENA fund is currently heavily invested in financials, which comprise nearly 35% of its allocation, while South Africa (28%) and Saudi Arabia (21%) are the two major areas of exposure by country.