Fidelity to hire 9,000 workers across U.S. amid trading boom

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Fidelity Investments plans to make 9,000 new hires across the U.S. by year-end as the company sees record growth amid a surge in stock trading.

The hiring push is the Boston-based fund manager’s third in less than a year, reflecting a boom in individual investing that has lifted the entire trading industry. The majority of the new positions at Fidelity will be focused on client interactions and technology, the company said in a statement. Combined with its plans from April to add about 4,000 workers within six months, Fidelity is on track to add roughly twice as many people in 2021 as it did last year.

Retail trading took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among younger investors who were cooped up in March 2020 just as markets swung wildly. The surge in meme stocks like GameStop in late January only further captivated traders looking to get rich quick.

Now, a year and a half since the onset of the pandemic, retail investors haven’t backed away from markets. A larger proportion of stock trading is coming from individuals than before: Retail accounted for about 20% of equity volume in the three months through June, compared with about 15% in the second quarter of 2019, according to Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.

Beneficiaries of this trend include Fidelity, as well as its competitors Charles Schwab and Robinhood, which both hit records in new account openings. Fidelity, which is privately held, oversaw about $4.1 trillion in its own funds as of June 30.

“Fidelity continues to achieve strong growth and results,” Abigail Johnson, the company’s CEO, said in the statement. “Our financial strength and stability allow us to make significant investments in our businesses and create value for the people we are privileged to serve.”

Fidelity, with about 38 million customers, added 1.7 million new retail accounts in the second quarter, a 39% increase from the same period a year earlier. About 697,000 of those new accounts were opened by investors age 35 or younger. Daily average trades placed in the three months through June increased 14% year-over-year.

The new hires will also help with the company’s new products, including Fidelity’s Youth Account, according to the statement. The new type of brokerage account, unveiled in May, provides investing and savings accounts, and debit cards to 13- to 17-year-olds whose parents are clients. Those teenagers can trade U.S.-listed stocks, Fidelity mutual funds and most exchange-traded funds with no account fees or commissions.

In April, Fidelity said it would expand in more than 20 U.S. markets, including Seattle, Houston, Minneapolis, Miami, Detroit and Baltimore, to broaden the reach of its investor centers and meet increased customer demand. That followed an October decision to add thousands of new hires, including customer service agents and financial advisers.

Fidelity plans to offer a hybrid work model for its employees, according to Tuesday’s statement. Competitors, including Vanguard Group, have also adopted such arrangements.

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