Fidelity keeps it in the family as Abigail Johnson succeeds father as CEO

Michael Bow
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Abigail Johnson is the new chief executive of Fidelity (Source: Reuters)
Fidelity, one of the world’s biggest investment groups, yesterday crowned Abigail Johnson as its new chief executive to succeed her father Edward Johnson.

The US company, the second biggest active fund manager in the states behind Vanguard, said Johnson would become CEO but remain in her current role as president.

Edward Johnson, 84, will remain on as group chairman.

Her promotion to chief executive cements her position as one of the most powerful woman in fund management, but is largely ceremonial. She took over the reins of the group in 2012 and has been responsible for running its operations for the past two years,

“Abby Johnson has agreed to become chief executive officer of Fidelity, reflecting a further step forward in our leadership succession plan,” Edward Johnson said in a memo.

“Abby will retain her role of president and I will continue to serve as chairman of the board.”

Fidelity, which gave birth to UK-based Fidelity Worldwide Investments when it spun out the group as an independent entity in 1980, has always been led by a member of the Johnson family since Edward Johnson founded the firm in 1946. It is still owned by the family alongside employees.

Abigail Johnson, 52, spent some years working outside the business, first as a consultant at Booz Allen before obtaining an MBA from Harvard Business School

She later joined Fidelity as an entry-level analyst.

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