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Rating:Unrest in Tunisia Hits Home for Fidelity  Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unrest in Tunisia Hits Home for Fidelity

by: Hung Tran

The political unrest in Tunisia is also hitting home for Fidelity Investments [see profile], which currently employs hundreds of workers in the chaotic country.

The Boston Globe reports that international affiliates of Fidelity over the weekend scrambled to make sure its employees at Tunisia operations were protected from the chaos that followed after Tunisia’s authoritarian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country, leaving behind protests, gun battles, and looting in his wake.

A few dozen American and European workers at a software company owned by Boston-based Fidelity have reportedly fled the capital, Tunis, and returned to their home countries. Fidelity International reportedly shut its Tunis office late last week, and it will remain closed “until things return to normal,’’ according to Peter Yandle, a spokesman in London.

A Fidelity spokeswoman in Boston said the company had helped send home a “small number’’ of employees from HR Access and Devonshire Investors, an arm of Fidelity that owns and operates businesses, including the software company.

The company has also taken steps to provide Tunisian citizens who work for Fidelity alternative working arrangements. No employees have been hurt by the riots, according to the spokeswoman.

The firm has about 380 employees in Tunis, at HR Access Solutions, a human resources software company. Fidelity’s overseas investment affiliate, Fidelity International, which manages mutual funds, has about 80 workers in Tunis but its US-based mutual fund and brokerage operations do not have any employees in Tunisia.

Fidelity reportedly has big plans in Tunisia, including a large suburban campus outside Tunis that could employ as many as 500 people in five years. 

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