Abigail Johnson to succeed father at Fidelity Investments

Abigail Johnson to succeed father at Fidelity Investments

Abigail Johnson is to succeed her father Edward "Ned" Johnson as chairperson of Fidelity Investments, following the retirement of the long-standing chairman.

But the kind of active investing Ned Johnson made his name with has largely fallen out of favor, replaced by low-priced index funds that have become wildly popular with investors.

Mr Johnson's retirement was not unexpected, as he is 86 years old and Abigail Johnson (54) has been running the USA mutual fund giant on a day-to-day basis as chief executive since 2014.

Ned Johnson built Fidelity into one of America's premier money management firms on its reputation for picking stocks. I will become chairman emeritus, maintain office hours at 245 Summer Street in Boston, and continue to consult periodically with Abby and Fidelity's board of directors, ' the FT reported the memo as saying. "This expansion of responsibilities is a natural progression of Abby's 28-year career at Fidelity, in which she has taken on increasingly more challenging and complex roles".

The promotion of Abigail Johnson was expected, as the Johnsons have held tight control over the privately held company for decades. "Effectively, it's been hers to run for a while now", Bonanzio said.

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Johnson has long operated in the shadow of her legendary father, Edward C. "Ned" Johnson 3rd, but she's hardly been hiding out. I have never felt more confident about Fidelity's future than I do now.

Fidelity was founded by Abigail's grandfather, Edward C. Johnson 2nd, in 1946.

But Fidelity was slow to respond to the mutual fund industry's seismic shift into passively managed index funds.

Actively managed funds have been the linchpin of the Johnson family's fortune. He managed Fidelity Trend Fund from 1958 to 1967 and was Fidelity Magellan Fund's first portfolio manager, running the fund from 1963 to 1971. "They are as important to her as new products were to her father". But analysts say it's too late to catch up with Vanguard, the nation's largest mutual fund company.

Ms. Johnson, 54, started at the company as an equity research analyst in 1988 and worked in or led a number of businesses, including Fidelity's asset management, workplace and retail units. While technology has helped the company ride through extreme market volatility, she said, "without question, our people are Fidelity's greatest asset, and we also need to invest in the acquisition, development, and retention of the industry's best talent".

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