Fidelity Makes Moves in Top Positions

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.

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

He 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.

Sources say that the moves were made about two months ago. Thursday, Fidelity announced the Conroy move in a press release, but to date, the Boston-based firm has not publicly disclosed who was heading global equity trading.

Robert 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 at FMRCo 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 Bros. 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 his role at the helm of global equity trading for FMRCo, Conroy 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.

Both Minicus and Conroy are based in Boston.

Between its equity trading and prime brokerage units, Fidelity Capital Markets now trades an average of nearly 700 million shares a day, largely driven by new asset-manager and hedge-fund clients.

For 2010, equity trading revenues at Fidelity Capital Markets grew 11 percent. And the firm reported adding more than 100 equity trading clients during that time.