Former Fidelity chief investment officer Simon Fraser has died after a short illness aged 62.

Fraser made a significant impact on the investment world over the years, joining Fidelity International in 1981 and later becoming its chief investment officer.

He left the US-headquartered asset manager in 2008, after a 28-year career, and went on to chair several trusts, including the F&C Investment Trust and Merchants Trust.

Since May this year, he had been the chair of Murray International Trust, having joined the board as a non-executive director the year before, and he was also chair of shareholder lobby group The Investor Forum.

In a statement Murray's board said: "The directors of the company announce, with deep sadness, that Simon Fraser, the chairman of the company, died in the early hours of 9 August 2021 following a short illness.

"Simon joined the board in May 2020 and was appointed chairman in April 2021 and had already, in this short time, contributed significantly to the company. The directors extend their sincerest condolences to Simon's family."

Senior independent director David Hardie has agreed to chair the trust on an interim basis, while non-executive director Alexandra Mackesy will become senior independent director and chair the remuneration committee.

Among the condolences from across the industry, Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at The Association of Investment Companies, said: "I'm so sorry to hear that Simon as died. He was a lovely man who contributed so much to the investment company industry. He participated in a panel session with me at The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) conference in 2020 on the F&C Investment Trust 150th marketing campaign - what a wonderful initiative. It was a pleasure to work with him and he will be missed."

Anne Richardson, chief executive of Fidelity international said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Simon Fraser, a very dear colleague, mentor and friend to so many at Fidelity International. Simon's career at Fidelity spanned over 28 years and his advice, support and encouragement to so many colleagues over this time has been invaluable.
Having spent his whole career in fund management, working across so many international markets, Simon's understanding of all aspects of the global asset management industry, his experience and expertise were first class. Many of us, both inside and outside of Fidelity, benefited from that over the years.
Simon was also a key driver behind the establishment of The Investor Forum which was created to develop engagement between institutional shareholders and the companies they invest in on long-term issues of strategic importance and where I was privileged to serve with Simon on its board. Simon and I also worked together on the Advisory Group to Sir John Kingman's Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council. 
Simon's huge contribution will continue to have a long-lasting impact on our industry. He will be greatly missed."