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Rating:Fido News Fest: Pyramis No More, MA Is Mad, and CO, NC, and FL Are Happy Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fido News Fest: Pyramis No More, MA Is Mad, and CO, NC, and FL Are Happy

News summary by MFWire's editors

Even by Fidelity's [profile] standards, it's been a busy news week for the Boston Behemoth ... and none of that news directly involves mutual funds! In no particular order the following unrelated stories are top of mind: the Boston-based mutual fund giant is expanding in three non-Massachusetts states, Massachusetts is accusing it of harboring unregistered advisors, its clearing and custody arm made a KPA-support alliance with a TAMP, and Pyramis is no more.

William F. Galvin

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
On Monday, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth (and longest-running New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer impersonator) Bill Galvin charged Fidelity Brokerage Services of "1) knowingly allowing unregistered investment advisers to utilize Fidelity's trading platform to conduct unregistered activity in Fidelity customer accounts ..." and allowing those allegedly unregistered advisors to get paid out of those accounts. The complaint thus appears to involve not Fido's famous giant mutual fund or 401(k) businesses but its back-office support of outside RIAs, independent B-Ds, and FAs.

Yet Fidelity is catching a lot of flak over what Galvin's complaint describes as "serving as a haven from regulatory oversight by ignoring blatant unregistered investment advisory activity." Indeed, the news has been covered by a host of publications, including: Barron's, the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Globe, and InvestmentNews, Reuters.

Meanwhile, outside Massachusetts, Fido is making hiring pushes in three states. In Jacksonville, Florida, Fidelity is reportedly hired 300 more people and aiming for $2.6 million in government financial incentives. In Durham, North Carolina, Fidelity is reportedly investing $8 million and expanding its workforce by 600. And in Greenwood Village, Colorado (outside Denver), Fidelity is reportedly adding 300 jobs.

The Denver Post covered Fido's Colorado expansion. The Charlotte Business Journal, the Charlotte Observer, and the Triangle Business Journal (twice) all covered the North Carolina expansion. And the Florida Times-Union and the Jacksonville Business Journal covered the Florida expansion.

On the institutional side of things, RIABiz took a deep dive into Fidelity's recently announced plans to create Fidelity Institutional Asset Management by combining the distribution and client service teams of Pyramis Global Advisors, Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions, and professional services group teams into a single unit under president Jeff Lagarce. Lagarce reports to Gerard McGraw, president of Fidelity Institutional. On the investment side, the Pyramis equity team will become FIAM equity within Fidelity's overall asset management.

And, as reported by our sister publication, 401kWire, Fidelity Clearing & Custody (once known as FIWS) is teaming up the retirement unit of TAMP giant Envestnet to support 401(k) plan advisors (KPAs), especially emerging KPAs. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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