Fidelity makes a smart move

It has been several months since we updated the Fido Files blog. In fact, the last time was to report the departure of Bob Reynolds. Now we are reporting on his replacement. As announced today by Fidelity, Rodger Lawson, a longtime Prudential Financial executive, will be taking over as president of FMR Corp., the holding company for Fidelity’s businesses. You can click here to read the official press release. 

Rodger Lawson’s return as President of FMR (Fidelity’s mutual fund company), is excellent news with precedents that bode well for Fidelity’s funds. Rodger’s experience both as a former President of FMR co, and more recently running a similar and competitive business, will yield invaluable insights to Fidelity’s mutual fund company. And while that news is, in and of itself, good news for Fidelity, the better news is that for Fidelity Investor members, we can expect a greater emphasis on marketing to Fidelity’s past core message: their mutual funds. Lately, Fidelity has been heavily marketing their platform as an excellent place to do business; and they’re right. It is. But they’ve been doing a less stellar job marketing their own mutual funds which has created the impression that they’re not worth marketing – wrong! I expect the return of Rodger to be the first shoe of Magellan’s re-opening to drop at a time in the near future as a way to say that Fidelity is not only back, but leading the pack. This isn’t just rhetorically feel-good news for investors like us, the more money that flows into the funds, the lower the overall expense ratio will be – and the more fully invested the funds will remain.

This new appointment will likely not quell the debate over possible successors for Ned Johnson, however. Click here for yesterday’s Boston Globe Article on the subject.