Fido Banks on a Bold Distribution Move
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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fido Banks on a Bold Distribution Move

Fidelity, in attempt to double its AUM over the next five years, has begun to eye banks as its newest possible distribution channel. An article in Bank Investment Consultant took a look at the potential feasibility and profitability of this move, especially in the face of cost-cutting at Fidelity and a larger restructuring of the banking distribution system.

Michael Clark, president of Fidelity Institutional Products Group, is leading the initiative and says that the Boston Behemoth is even looking to add former banking executives to the group despite broader cuts at the company.

"Our goal is to be the guy that shuts the lights off in this market," Clark said. "We want to be the biggest, most rounded player."

Some are questioning Fidelity’s bank ambitions by citing the fact that the firm has never truly pursued bank distribution, and that the current banking industry climate may not make for an ideally timed entry into the channel.

Rus Prince, president of the advisory firm Prince & Associates, was one such skeptical analyst. Prince told Bank Investment Consultant that "the bank channel just isn't as productive as it once was. Banks are failing and facing problems with questionable loan books. Wealth management just isn't the focus for banks right now."

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