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May 1, 2011

Fidelity Makes Moves At Top

By James Ramage

Recent executive moves at Fidelity bring one former trader back to his brokerage roots, while a former bond veteran takes the equity trading helm on the investment side.

Robert Minicus

Fidelity Investments appointed Robert Minicus head of global equity trading for Fidelity Management & Research Co. (FMRCo), the investment adviser group that offers more than 500 mutual funds, with $1.6 trillion in assets under management.

Minicus replaces Brian B. Conroy, who previously headed global equity trading on the buyside. Conroy was made president of Fidelity Capital Markets, the firm's brokerage arm. Fidelity Capital Markets has more than 20 million institutional and retail investor customers.

Brian Conroy

Sources say the moves were made about four months ago. Conroy replaces former Fidelity Capital Markets president Mark Haggerty, who was named head of a new product development group that spans the firm's institutional businesses. In this role, Haggerty will be responsible for developing sophisticated wealth management products for Fidelity's institutional and intermediary clients, including correspondent broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and family offices.

Minicus, a 10-year trading veteran at FMRCo, joined the firm in 2001 as a trader in the fixed income division in Merrimack, N.H. He was elevated to head of international trading in early 2005.

Interestingly, Scott DeSano, who headed global equity trading at Fidelity Investments before Conroy, also came from the bond side at the firm. After heading international, Minicus became a member of Conroy's management team. Prior to joining Fidelity, he worked as a trader at Salomon Brothers for 14 years.

Conroy, who began as a block trader at Goldman Sachs, later headed listed trading at JPMorgan. He rejoins the sellside after spending about two decades on the buyside. He joined FMRCo in 2005.

Prior to Fidelity, Conroy was chief operating officer for Sigma Capital in New York. Before that, he worked as director of execution trading for SAC Capital and head of America's equity trading for ABN AMRO.

In Conroy's role at the helm of global equity trading for FMRCo, he also oversaw securities lending and foreign exchange for Fidelity mutual funds. During his time there, Conroy "designed a team-based approach that better integrated the analysis and trading functions to distill and connect insights," the firm reported.

In 2010, the equity trading and prime brokerage units traded an average of nearly 700 million shares a day. During the same period, equity trading revenues grew 11 percent.


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