Fidelity Investments, the nation's third-largest mutual fund complex, has embarked on a hiring initiative that would create career stock-analyst posts to oversee its research department.

For the first time, the Boston fund shop will look outside the firm to hire permanent managers to supervise the team of stock analysts managing its sector funds, the report said. In the past, managers would serve in that role for 12 to 18 months. The idea is to provide fund managers with more in-depth, broader coverage, Robert Reynolds, vice chairman of Fidelity, told The Wall Street Journal last week.

The company plans to add at least two-dozen analysts to its lineup of 126 analysts in the U.S., including some who will focus solely on growth stocks. Reynolds said one of the reasons for the move was Regulation Fair Disclosure, or Reg FD, which requires companies to disclose material information to the general public at the same time it distributes it to Wall Street analysts. Reynolds noted that the "information you get from companies is pretty sterile," according to the newspaper report.

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