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September 2, 2013

Fidelity Integrating Units

National Fidelity, hoping for more clearing and custody business, is in the process of consolidating its platforms

By Gregory Bresiger

Fidelity Institutional, which includes National Financial's clearing operations, is going to consolidate its technology in an effort to garner more clearing and custody business.

"Through our ongoing dialogue with clients, we recognized that we could deliver a deeper level of engagement in the custody and clearing industry by better leveraging our scale and breadth of expertise," said Gerard McGraw, president of Fidelity Institutional.

McGraw and the leaders of Fidelity's custody and clearing units-Michael Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, and Sanjiv Mirchandani, president of National Financial-will oversee a new organizational structure that recognizes that business models in the financial advice industry are converging, the company officials said.

"Both IWS and National Financial are serving bank clients, often the same client," Durbin explained. A key goal of the realignment is to create service teams with professionals from both the custodian and clearing units to provide bank clients with more integrated services, he added.

"Increasingly, clients are asking for integrated and superior technology that cuts across various segments," Mirchandani said.

"We are a diverse company," added McGraw, "and it is important that we are aligned to consistently bring our clients both our broad industry perspective as well as our specific business model expertise."

The changes are part of a number of corporate structure changes designed to deliver comprehensive services in both money management and clearing/custody service. Mirchandani added that the change makes sense for clearing, custody and IWS, the registered investment advisor operations. Mirchandani said the consolidation will change little in the short term because the different platforms now have interoperability. However, over "the long term, as the platforms combine, it will easier to use future components across a common platform.


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