Abigail Johnson Moves to FESCO in Sweeping Fidelity Reorganization

May 3, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Fidelity Investments on Monday unveiled a sweeping corporate reorganization, which, among other moves, named Abigail Johnson president of Fidelity Employer Services Company (FESCO).

Johnson, daughter of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Johnson 3d, will now head the unit that provides retirement, benefits and human resources outsourcing, workforce effectiveness, payroll and stock plan services to about 19 million American employees and retirees, according to a Fidelity Web site statement . According to the company, FESCO represents 43% of Fidelity’s assets under management. Fidelity has custodied assets of $2.1 trillion, including managed assets of $1.1 trillion as of March 31, according to the company.

Abigail Johnson, who served as president of Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCO), the investment advisor to Fidelity’s mutual funds for about four years, is the largest shareholder of the privately held company and is seen as CEO heir apparent.

“Fidelity has grown significantly over the past decade, both in terms of assets under management and the types of businesses we are involved in,” said Edward Johnson, in the announcement. “Therefore it makes good sense for us to stop and take a close look at where we are and what we can do better.”

Top management reorganization is common at the Boston-based investment company, and the moves have nothing to do with a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into alleged violations of conflict of interest policies by senior traders, or with lagging performance, company spokeswoman Anne Crowley told reporters in news reports about the reorganization.

“This is quite consistent with the way our leadership team has been built over the years,” Crowley said. “Executives move around quite frequently to different roles to develop them and expose them to different aspects of the business.”

According to the company Web announcement, current FESCO President Peter Smail will become president of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management Group, a new unit made up of several organizations focused on the institutional marketplace, including Fidelity Management Trust Company (FMTC) and the newly created investment operation designed to serve institutional clients and non-Investment Company Act of 1940 business. Drew Lawton will continue as president of FMTC, reporting to Smail.

New FMRCO Management Team

Meanwhile, Fidelity announced that Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Robert Reynolds will oversee a new FMRCO management team led by Stephen Jonas, who most recently served as president of Fidelity Enterprise Operations and Risk Services.

“This is a big move because we are moving some of our most senior executives around to give them new opportunities and it is important to the long-term success of the company,” Reynolds told Reuters. “This is the first time there have been so many moving parts.”

Other FMRCO managers include:

  • Dwight Churchill, Equity Portfolio Management, who most recently served as senior vice president of Investment Services in FMRCO
  • Boyce Greer, Equity Research/Asset Allocation. Greer currently is managing director of Fidelity Strategic Advisers, Inc.
  • Walter Donovan, High Income/Fixed-Income/Global Equity Trading who is currently senior vice president and high-income group leader within FMRCO.

class=”bodytext”>In addition, Timothy Hayes, will work with Investment Services for FMRCO, according to the company. Hayes joined Fidelity in 1988 and most recently has been president of Fidelity Investments Operations Group.

class=”bodytext”>The Fidelity Pricing and Cash Management Services function of that organization will move to FMRCO with Hayes, who will report to Reynolds as he works to build the company’s capability to service other investment management organizations beyond FMRCO, according to Fidelity.