Fidelity Moves Adviser Services Out of Institutional Investing to Align with Brokerage and Technology

Fidelity said it has moved client services and technology out of institutional investment to improve innovation and speed to market for in-demand digital services.  

Fidelity Investments said it has shifted its adviser services and technology out of its Fidelity Institutional division and closer to brokerage and technology operations to meet client demand for digital technology and scale of services.

The investment manager and service provider is moving its clearing and custody sales, relationship management, service and operations teams under the same umbrella as its Fund and Brokerage Operations and Technology unit, a spokesperson said in a statement. The moves take these teams and technology out of Fidelity’s institutional investing division to focus that business unit on institutional investment management.

The move allows for “greater technology innovation and speed to market in an industry where clients value scale, digital technologies, and differentiated service,” the spokesperson said. “Fidelity remains committed to the clearing and custody business and our clients, and we have a very strong team in place.” 

The decision comes as financial advisement becomes more digitized and automated with the advancement of technology and savviness of users. The company as recently as last month signaled investment in its adviser technology platform by enhancing its account onboarding services, open architecture platform for advisers, and its Wealthscape brokerage platform.

“By realigning these focus areas in into two separate divisions, we aim to deliver a better client experience through a greater level of dedicated resources,” the spokesperson said.

Adviser services and technology will now align with Fidelity’s fund and brokerage operations and technology business, which is run by Ron DePoalo.

Meanwhile, Vadim Zlotnikov has been named the new head of Fidelity Institutional with a “singular” focus on institutional investment management solutions. Zlotnikov was most recently president of Fidelity Asset Management Solutions, and before joining Fidelity in 2018 spent 25 years at AllianceBernstein in various leadership roles, the spokesperson said.

“For our focus on institutional investment management solutions, Fidelity Institutional has a reshaped strategic focus as a fully integrated, open architecture investment management distribution business that delivers investment-led solutions, capabilities, and insights to the intermediary and institutional markets,” the statement said. Fidelity Institutional has $3.5 trillion in assets under administration and 2,724 employees, according to its website.

Zlotnikov replaces Mike Durbin, who was president of the division for five years and now moves into a senior adviser role, continuing to report to the Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson. Durbin will remain active in the wealth management and institutional client space, the spokesperson said.