Kathleen Murphy, President of Personal Investing at financial services company Fidelity Investments, who oversees US$3.6 trillion in assets, is to retire.
Murphy, who sits on the Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Board of Directors of The Markle Foundation, and the Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the National Football Foundation, has repeatedly been named one of the ‘50 Most Powerful Women in American Business’ by Fortune magazine, and one of the ‘25 Most Powerful Women in Finance’ by American Banker.
Murphy, 57, plans to step down by the middle of the year, Fidelity Investments’ CEO Abigail Johnson wrote in a memo to staff, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“This past year, Kathy helped to steer Fidelity through a global pandemic while remaining steadfast in our commitment to our clients and associates,” Johnson wrote in the memo. “For me personally, I will miss Kathy’s leadership, passion, energy and relentless will to innovate and improve.”
Murphy joined Fidelity Investments from ING US, where she was CEO of Wealth Management.
Murphy spectacularly grew Fidelity Investments’ financial advisory arm and maintained its leading role in a brokerage industry transformed by technology, consolidation and a relentless drive to lower costs. Under her direction, Fidelity Investments joined its peers in slashing commissions to zero and offering fractional-share trading, while also introducing Wall Street’s first no-fee mutual funds, Fox Business reported.
When Murphy joined Fidelity Investments in 2009, the Boston-based company’s retail assets stood at US$916 million held in 12 million accounts. The company sold no wealth management services direct to investors.
During her tenure, she almost quadrupled these figures to US$3.6 trillion, held in 26 million accounts, and launched a retail wealth management business that manages US$1.4 trillion today.
Overall, in 2020, Fidelity Investments’ retail arm added 5.1 million new accounts – a 60 per cent year-on-year increase – and US$600 billion in client assets, a 20 per cent increase, according to the company.
In its third quarter financial report 2020, with branches shut by the coronavirus pandemic, Fidelity Investments added two million retail customers and facilitated 2.2 million daily retail trades – a 97 per cent rise year on year.
Fidelity also grew its financial planning business 34 per cent year on year, with digital activity increasing 100 per cent.
In late 2020, Fidelity announced plans to hire 4,000 new financial advisors and customer service staff by the
Northern Hemisphere’s summer 2021. Murphy managed 18,000 workers.