Fidelity Investments is aiming to add 800 technology hires to ramp up new products catered to the next-gen retail investor, as well as cryptocurrency and digital asset capabilities, with the speed and agility of a fintech startup.
As part of the fund company’s recent announcement that it will hire 9,000 new employees, Fidelity is increasing investments in its digital channels to build out products like Fidelity’s Youth Account, as well as digital asset trading solutions like Sherlock, said Brooke Forbes, chief investment officer and head of technology for personal investing at Fidelity.
“The investments we continue to require, from a technology perspective, are what we call full stack engineers,” she said.
Those engineering jobs include data engineers, application architecture designers, and mobile and iOS engineers. With a year-over-year increase of nearly 60% in digital interactions on Fidelity’s retail mobile and web platforms, many new roles will also be required to design, build and drive digital products for individual investors. The regions driving the most technology hires are North Carolina, with 340 new tech roles, and Texas, with 140, a company spokesperson said.
The new hires fuel the investments Fidelity is making in its platform strategy, including moving its digital infrastructure to the cloud and enhancements to the company’s artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive personalization, data platforms and social platforms, Forbes said.
Today, technologists make up around 25% of Fidelity’s overall workforce, Forbes said, calling the investments a “digital nucleus” that powers the client experience.
Fidelity has been beefing up its digital client experiences through multi channels and product launches during the last year. The giant fund manager posted its first TikTok video at the end of June featuring how-to guides for using its Fidelity Spire app.
Getting into the TikTok game isn’t the first time Fidelity has made moves to appeal to next-gen investors. In May, the company launched Fidelity Youth Account, a platform where teens are able to trade U.S.-listed stocks, Fidelity mutual funds and most exchange-traded funds, with no account fees or commissions.
The incumbent also hosted its first Reddit “Ask Me Anything” in February on the heels of the GameStop Corp. stock surge to engage with customers and answer live questions regarding retail trading.
More than 1,300 comments from Redditors flooded the discussion, yet trading education was largely outshined by comments comparing Fidelity’s mobile app interface to Robinhood. Fidelity said it has since taken advantage of the feedback on Reddit and has been transparent about changes to the Fidelity Mobile app based on their suggestions.
“That’s the innovation,” Forbes said. “It’s our ability to very quickly take client feedback through things like the Reddit AMAs and have a full agile operating model to test and learn and quickly react and actually say: ‘Here’s the next set of improvements.’”
The new positions, in combination with the thousands announced earlier this year, will increase hiring twofold by year-end compared to 2020, when Fidelity added 7,200 jobs, and fivefold compared to 2017, according to the announcement.
Fidelity also announced that it’s planning a hybrid work strategy that combines in-person and remote working in which associates work flexibly based on personal and professional needs.
“Exactly what this looks like may vary for each individual based on their needs, their role and other factors,” the spokesperson said. “We have not yet determined what the on-site percentage will be. During days associates are not scheduled to be on-site with their team, they’ll be able to choose whether to work from home or the office.”
For example, a technologist in Fidelity’s personal investing organization who is designing, building, and driving digital solutions for individual investors may focus his or her on-site time working in an agile environment, helping to drive collaboration and innovation, the spokesperson said. Other on-site activities will likely include career coaching and hands-on training, which are all better in person.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.