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Rating:Fidelity Gets Spooky Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, December 23, 2005

Fidelity Gets Spooky

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

A former CIA director has signed on as the Boston Behemoth's independent chairman. Fidelity Investments' independent trustees voted Robert M. Gates to the post on December 16. He takes over from Marvin L. Mann, who resigned after reaching the board's mandatory retirement age of 72 and had held the post since 2001.

Gates, 62, is the president of Texas A&M University and currently holds a seat on Fidelity's board. He served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush.

The independent directors also voted Albert R. Gamper Jr., previously head of commercial finance company CIT Group Inc., to fill the seat vacated by Mann. Ten of the 14 directors for Fidelity's 330 funds are independent.

The appointment makes Gates the leading candidate to replace Fidelity CEO Ned Johnson as chairman of its fund trustees if an SEC rule requiring independent fund chairs takes effect next year as expected. Fidelity has publicly fought the rule.

Gates told the Boston Globe that he also does not feel the new rule is critical.

"At this point our view is that independent trustees have complete control of the agenda of our meetings, so we haven't felt we have had to address the issue," Gates told the Boston paper.  

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