While Fidelity Investments has gone through a number of sweeping changes in the past few years, they are not about to abate, Vice Chairman Robert Reynolds tells Financial Times. "If you don't like what's happening at Fidelity, stay around a few years and it will change," said Reynolds, who recently challenged employees of the firm to double assets by 2010.
Most notably, Fidelity recently overtook Merrill Lynch to become the biggest brokerage in the United States. It shocked the investment world when it removed Chairman Ned Johnson's daughter, Abigail Johnson, from her role as head of the mutual fund unit and followed that up by reorganizing the division and doubling the number of analysts it employs.
After decades of promoting from inside, it hired analysts, portfolio managers and chief investment officers to oversee those portfolio managers, from the outside. It beefed up its technology and customer service departments, and is now pursuing a greater share of the pension and endowment business with a division devoted exclusively to them.
And today, more than half of the company's revenues come from trade processing, administration and fund custody. With the nation's 77 million Baby Boomers set to retire and to switch from the accumulation phase to the distribution phase, Fidelity expects the trust services part of its business to grow faster than money management, Reynolds said.