FMR is semper fidelis (ever faithful) to its core business. The financial services conglomerate, known as Fidelity Investments, is one of the world's largest mutual fund firms. It serves more than 20 million individual and institutional clients, as well as 5,000-plus financial intermediary firms. Fidelity manages nearly 500 funds, boasting some $3.7 trillion in assets under administration, including managed assets of $1.6 trillion. It operates a top online discount brokerage with 170 investor centers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The founding Johnson family controls Fidelity; Abigail Johnson, CEO Ned Johnson's daughter and one of America's wealthiest women, is its largest single shareholder.
Founded in 1946 Fidelity has grown to become the No. 1 provider of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) in the nation. Its non-fund offerings include life insurance, trust services, securities clearing, and retirement services. The company is one of the largest administrators of 401(k) plans, as well, and it continues to grow this segment, which includes other services related to benefits outsourcing. It has an agreement with advisory firm Financial Engines, which provides Fidelity's 401(k) plan participants with direct investment advisory services. Fidelity created two new organizations in 2010 to run its asset management business. BNY Mellon VP Ronald O'Hanley is heading up the money management arm, while Abigail Johnson is leading the distribution arm. Both have been mentioned as possible candidates to succeed Ned Johnson.
The company's investment portfolio includes controlling stakes in telecommunications firm COLT Group and transportation company BostonCoach, among others. Fidelity is an activist investor and uses its clout to influence the operations of its holdings. Former venture capital unit Fidelity Ventures ceased operations in 2010 after members of its management team left to form their own independent investment company. Fidelity continues to be active in venture capital through Fidelity Growth Partners in Europe and Asia and Fidelity Biosciences in the US.
Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity boasts regional centers in the US and Canada located in New Mexico, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Utah, Rhode Island, Florida, and Toronto, Canada. Fidelity's operations reach worldwide. The investment firm also has a presence in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the UK, among other regions. Outside the US, the company operates its business through Fidelity International Limited, Fidelity Investments Canada Limited, Fidelity Investments Management (H.K.) Limited, Fidelity Investments Japan, and Fidelity Brokerage Services Japan LLC. In late 2012 FMR expanded its online trading platform by offering investors an additional eight countries and by adding three new currencies. Newer countries include Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, and Spain. Currencies added are the Krone, Zloty, and Rand. Its goal is to make trading international stocks and exchanging foreign currencies faster and easier. The new countries and currencies will be available by 2013. – less