The former bank sales chief at Fidelity Investments has left his new employer, the New England Funds, after just six months.

Andrew Olear resigned from the New England Funds last Friday to pursue other interests, a spokesman there confirmed. After a career at Fidelity, Mr. Olear joined Boston-based New England in August to oversee mutual fund sales through stockbrokers and insurance agents, sales channels which the spokesman said New England remains committed to.

Sources said that Mr. Olear's experience-which consisted mostly of hawking Fidelity's products to banks-was not commensurate with his responsibilities at New England. Mr. Olear was not available for comment.

He has been replaced by senior managing director and executive vice president Bruce Speca, an 11-year New England veteran. Mr. Speca is also responsible for service and production development at the mutual fund unit of New England Investment Co., Boston.

Over the past few years, New England has taken a different approach to the asset management business than some of its competitors.

It has made a number of acquisitions of high net-worth money managers.

Most recently, New England agreed in September to acquire Jurika & Voyles Inc., an Oakland, Calif., money management firm, for approximately $110 million in equity and cash. At the time of the agreement, Jurika & Voyles oversaw $5 billion of assets for institutions and wealthy individuals, plus three mutual funds with a combined $150 million of assets under management.

In July 1995, New England bought Graystone Partners, a Chicago-based company that advises very wealthy clients on money management. One week before that deal, New England acquired Harris Associates, another Chicago investment management firm.

New England and all of its subsidiaries currently manage $19.85 billion in open-ended mutual fund assets, according to Lipper Analytical Services, New York.

When Mr. Olear left Boston-based Fidelity last summer, observers speculated that the nation's biggest fund company was shifting its focus away from the bank channel to concentrate on other avenues, like 401(k) plans and financial planners.

His departure followed by five months that of Richard Tinervin, who oversaw sales through large bank trust departments. Mr. Tinervin is now with Charles Schwab & Co.

Kirk Williamson, a marketing executive at Putnam Investments, Boston, filled Mr. Olear's spot at Fidelity.

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