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Rating:Fidelity Ups Its Advisor Ante and Wins Over a High Net Worth Shop Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fidelity Ups Its Advisor Ante and Wins Over a High Net Worth Shop

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Fidelity just won over a Westerchester, New York-based high net worth advisory firm. On Wednesday the Boston-based mutual fund titan confirmed that Strata Wealth Management Group, HighTower's newest office, has tapped Fidelity as primary custodian. Strata works with more than $500 million in assets. Meanwhile, watch for Fidelity to double down on technology to support its advisors.

Michael Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, put the move in the context of his unit's recent growth. FIWS ended 2009 with $396 billion, up 35 percent year-over-year. To support that growth, Durbin plans to put more money into technology.

"We expect to increase our investment in technology in 2010 by 25 percent over 2009, with the vast majority of that investment directly benefiting hybrid firms in the form of technology and service enhancements," Durbin stated.


Company Press Release

BOSTON, February 17, 2010 -- Fidelity Investments® (Fidelity) today announced that Chicago-based HighTower, the first open-source, advisor-owned financial services company serving high-net-worth clients, has selected Fidelity® as the primary custodian for its newest HighTower office in Westchester, N.Y., a team with assets under management of more than $500 million. The Strata Wealth Management Group at HighTower will leverage Fidelity’s experience, scale and brokerage capabilities to manage commission- and fee-based business for clients.

Fidelity said it continues to realize significant growth supporting hybrid firms driven largely by its success in helping breakaway brokers. In 2009, Fidelity helped a company-record 191 broker teams transition to independence, up 63 percent from 2008. Since 2005, Fidelity has helped nearly 600 broker teams transition to independence, whether starting an RIA, joining an existing RIA or joining an independent broker-dealer of National Financial®.

“The independent advisor model for wealthy families continues to evolve,” said Elliot S. Weissbluth, HighTower chief executive officer. “As brokers leave the wirehouses, HighTower services both fee and transaction business in order to meet the needs of our clients. Fidelity understands the power of the hybrid offering and continues to address a growing market demand.”1

“When you look at our competition, we believe no one has a comparable hybrid offering in size, scale or capability,” said Michael Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “Our commitment to supporting both fee- and commission-based business continues. In fact, we expect to increase our investment in technology in 2010 by 25 percent over 2009, with the vast majority of that investment directly benefiting hybrid firms in the form of technology and service enhancements.”

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services Continues Strong Growth

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services also announced that it continued its strong growth in 2009, ending the year with a record $396 billion in assets, an increase of 35 percent over 2008 and up more than 200 percent since the beginning of 2005.

“The significant investments we have been making in this business continue to be recognized by advisors, and have positioned us for continued growth moving forward,” said Durbin. “Our investment in the business will continue in 2010, with a focus on resources that can help our existing clients accelerate their growth.”

About Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services is a leading provider of trading, custody and brokerage services to Registered Investment Advisors, Trust Institutions and Third Party Administrators. The company is able to leverage the capital, resources and expertise of the Fidelity organization, one of the world’s largest financial services companies, on behalf of its clients. This includes access to a comprehensive set of products and services, innovative investment tools and research, an integrated brokerage and trust platform, and dedicated client service professionals -- all designed to help its clients thrive by growing their businesses, more effectively meeting customer needs, and enhancing operational efficiency and profitability. Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services custodies nearly $400 billion in assets on behalf of 3,500 clients, as of December 31, 2009. For more information about Fidelity’s services, please visit http://fiws.fidelity.com.

About Fidelity

Fidelity Investments is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of over $3.2 trillion, including managed assets of nearly $1.5 trillion as of December 31, 2009. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to over 20 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket, a leading online brokerage firm and one of the largest providers of custody and clearing services to financial professionals. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.

About HighTower

HighTower is the first open-source, advisor-owned financial services company, focused on the needs of wealthy families. HighTower advisors are experienced investment professionals with large, established practices serving high net worth clients. As a dually- registered, multi-custodial firm, HighTower provides sophisticated investment solutions as well as an independent and unobstructed view of the markets. The company is headquartered in Chicago and maintains corporate centers in New York and San Francisco and offices around the country. See www.hightoweradvisors.com.

Securities offered through HighTower Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC/MSRB. HighTower Advisors, LLC is registered with the SEC as an investment adviser.

###

HighTower and The Strata Wealth Management Group are independent companies and are not affiliated with Fidelity.

Fidelity, Fidelity Investments, the Pyramid Design logo, National Financial and Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services are registered service marks of FMR LLC.

Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services provides brokerage products and services and is a division of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC. National Financial is a division of National Financial Services LLC through which clearing, custody and other brokerage services may be provided. Both members NYSE, SIPC.

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© 2010 FMR LLC. All rights reserved. 

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