Fidelity Investments raises hiring target to 16,000 for the year


Business is clearly good at Fidelity Investments.

The Boston financial giant massively displays the “Help Wanted” sign, saying Tuesday it wants to add 9,000 American workers in the second half of this year. Combined with previous initiatives, Fidelity plans to hire 16,000 new employees in 2021, doubling last year’s growth and bringing its US workforce to over 60,000.

Think about it for a minute: Even after the usual attrition (and a voluntary buyout program in June), the 75-year-old is increasing its ranks by more than a fifth in a year. Unfortunately for Massachusetts, most of the hiring is done elsewhere.

Here is the backstory.

With the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 20% this year, Fidelity has attracted clients at a rapid pace as investors – especially millennials and Gen Z – dive deeper into the market and become more connected. comfortable with bitcoin and other digital assets. Its institutional investing and employee benefits business is also thriving.

The company added 1.7 million retail accounts in the second quarter, an increase of 39% from the previous year. Four in 10 of these accounts were opened by clients 35 years of age or younger. Fidelity managed $ 4.2 trillion in client assets as of June 30, up 26% from the previous year.

“Our financial strength and stability allow us to make significant investments in our business,” said Abigail Johnson, chief executive officer of the company, in a statement.

The outlook was not so bright in early 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis brought the market crashing down and investment firms were locked in a race to the bottom with no-cost, no-cost funds. commission. But Fidelity didn’t flinch when competitors E * Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade were swallowed up by Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab Corp., respectively.

Instead, the company continued to build its fund list, opened more customer service centers (including one recently in Rhode Island), and rolled out cryptocurrency trading and accounts for clients’ teenage children. A long-term diversification drive – into index funds, pension and benefit management, securities lending and other lines of business – has really paid off.

With more than 38 million customers, Fidelity relies on the people and technology to keep them happy. The company said more than 40% of this year’s hires will be in direct-to-customer positions, including call center representatives, financial advisors and institutional client managers. Almost 10 percent of new positions will be in technology.

But as Fidelity grows, its presence in Massachusetts has diminished. In 2010, the company had 8,000 workers in the state. At the end of last year, that number was 5,700, or 13% of the US workforce.

In the 1990s, Abigail Johnson’s father and predecessor, Edward “Ned” Johnson III, moved workers to states such as New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Kentucky, in part to express his dissatisfaction with taxes. from Massachusetts. Later, Fidelity added workers in different time zones so they could offer longer customer service hours. Earlier this year, the company announced it would hire 1,000 financial planners in new markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.

The hiring announced Tuesday, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, includes 950 jobs in New Hampshire and 850 in Rhode Island, but only 365 in Massachusetts.

In a big country and in a business like financial services, the hometown is just not as important as it was a generation ago.

Larry Edelman can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @GlobeNewsEd.

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