Fidelity International, as we later became known, was established in 1969 as the international investment arm of Fidelity Investments founded by Edward C Johnson 2d in 1946 in Boston. His son, Edward C 'Ned' Johnson 3d, was appointed as Chairman and filled the role for over 45 years.
In the same year our international headquarter was set up in Bermuda, we opened our Tokyo office. We soon after became the first foreign asset manager to launch a Japanese equity fund domestically in this market. Our presence in Japan since 1969 laid the foundation for our on-the-ground expertise in Asia.
Initially established for research purposes, our first office in London quickly evolved. We soon became the first international group to manage authorised unit trusts for clients in the United Kingdom, as well as being able to offer global equities covered from the British financial centre to clients in Japan.
Today London is both our largest research and investment hub, and the UK our biggest market.
In the 80s, we first invested on behalf of public and private sector employee pension funds.
In 1986, our first office in Taiwan opened its doors.
We also introduced products and services for private investors for the first time in the second half of the 80s–such as tax-efficient personal investment plans, available in the United Kingdom from 1987.
Fidelity is proud to be re-investing a portion of our profit into the communities across the globe in which we operate. Our approach to giving was formalised with the establishment of Fidelity Foundations in 1988. The foundations' focus is on strengthening not-for-profit organisations which have the potential to make a significant difference in their chosen fields. Often this is through major investments in technology or physical infrastructure.
1990 saw the launch of our Luxembourg registered fund range which could accommodate investments in multiple currencies, first making Fidelity funds available to investors across Continental Europe and Asia.
Between 1990 and 2000 we opened thirteen new offices globally: Beside Luxembourg, in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Italy, Ireland, Dubai and Korea.
Our global presence required new ways of coordinating business and, in 1992, we begun the development of a multi-country investor record system known as GFAS. This proved so successful, it was then licensed to other investment managers.
Today, Fidelity is the largest player in the cross-border active equity funds market, distributing investment funds in over 30 countries around the world.
Having managed money for pension funds since the 80s, in 1994 we entered the business of administering as well as managing 'Defined Contributions', which is money paid into individual retirement accounts by employers and employees. Today, over 850 companies in the Germany, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom as well as multinationals, trust us with their DC pension assets.
1998 saw the launch of our Personal Investing business to serve Japanese private investors directly. Today, we have direct distribution businesses in Hong Kong, Germany, Japan and the UK.
As the first investment manager to have a website in the UK from 1996, and the first to sell funds online from 1999, we are committed to advancing digital access to fund information and support to make investing as easy as possible for our clients.
As an industry leader in investment technology and infrastructure, we were a founding member of EMX Co, now owned by Euroclear, which established a UK fund order routing system with technology developed by a Fidelity unit.
With the backend infrastructure in place, we focused on the direct client impact of new digital platform trading opportunities, and with FundsNetwork launched our first online fund supermarket in the UK at the turn of the millennium. FundsNetwork gives advisers and private investors access to a wide range of funds from different investment managers. In 2002, FundsNetwork was also launched in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Germany, we acquired one of the top-3 domestic fund platform providers in 2008 to form the fund platform FFB. FFB has also been serving the Austrian market since 2013.
By the mid-2000s, we had further expanded our global presence with new offices in Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing, Sydney, Brussels and Mumbai.
Our presence in India alone evolved from a two-person office set up in a hotel room to a team 2,300-people strong. Today, India and our operation in China represent the technology backbone of our organisation and the enabler of our mission to deliver innovative client solutions for a better future.
Even through the global Financial Crisis, as markets temporarily took a sharp hit, we kept growing our number of clients who trusted us to preserve and grow their money over the long term. At the peak of the crisis in September 2008 we increased our opening hours to make sure all clients who wanted to get in touch could do so. Fidelity received and dealt with an average of 2,700 calls per day in the UK alone during these weeks.
From 2009, we developed 'Guidance', information that helps investors orient themselves over the long term and in periods of acute volatility. We also started to think about new user requirements around accessing information on their savings and investments, and in 2011 were the first investment manager to launch an iPhone app in the UK, with our other markets swiftly following suit.
In 2008 we also launched "Bricks and Mortar" institutional real estate funds launched to complement our existing expertise in equities, fixed income and cash.
We implemented an industry-leading single-platform research interface that gives any of our fund managers and analysts real-time access to our cross-industry, sector, geography and asset class proprietary knowledge – whether they are at their desk or on the road.
We serve everyone – from individuals, advisers, financial institutions, employer pension plans, and governments across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
Everything we do is connected to helping our clients achieve a better future. Whether this is through creating our own world-class investment solutions, providing access to those of other asset managers, or delivering a service to help our clients, big and small, to invest in the way that best suits their goals.
As a privately owned and independent business we’re driven by the needs of our clients, not by the interests of shareholders or those of a parent company. Our commitment to integrity, innovation and excellence, coupled with the ability to charter our own course, are what make us unique.
Coming to London
Our first institutional
Growing our footprint in Asia
Serving pension funds and
Establishing Fidelity Foundations
Expanding our investment services to investors across Europe and Asia
Becoming a pension plan administrator
From Equity Specialist to Multi-Asset House
Adding to our services for individual investors
Developing Digital Investment Platforms for the 21st century
China and India become our global technology backbone
Helping our clients weather the crisis
Solutions for changing investment needs
At the forefront of investment research
Next generation service
|2011||Fidelity celebrates 30 years in Hong Kong.|
|2010||Tunisia office opened.|
|2009||FIL celebrates 40th anniversary of establishment.|
|2008||Opened additional offices in China (Beijing) and Germany (Munich).|
|2007||Opened back-office functions in China (Dalian).|
|2006||Opened central business support services for Asia Pacific in Australia.|