June 8, 2009
Abigail Johnson Chairs Fidelity Fund Board
Fidelity Investments promoted Abigail Johnson to chairman of the board of directors overseeing fixed income and asset allocation funds, yet another indication of the firm's intention to eventually name the younger Johnson successor to her father, Edward C. "Ned" Johnson III, 78, as head of the company.
The 47-year-old Johnson runs Fidelity's personal and workplace investing unit and has been vice chairman of Fidelity Management & Research's board for a number of years. The older Johnson remains chairman of Fidelity's equity and high-yield funds.
"Clearly, Abigail is going to be the successor," said Burt Greenwald, president of B.J. Greenwald Associates. "I think what you are seeing over the last year or two is a number of moves to build a firmer senior management team."
John Bonnanzio, editor of Fidelity Insight, agreed with Greenwald's assessment, commenting, "Fidelity is laying the groundwork for Abigail as the overriding force" of the firm. As others have said previously, it is unlikely that Fidelity President Rodger Lawson will succeed Ned Johnson, as he is in his 60s.
However, Anne Crowley, a spokeswoman for Fidelity, said the promotion has nothing to do with a change in leadership, but, instead, is simply streamlining oversight of the boards.
SEC Creates COO Position To Better Combat Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission is creating the position of chief operating officer and looking to expand its ranks by 1,000 to better combat fraud.
"I have been disappointed to find that in some areas of our internal operations, we fall short of what the taxpayer has a right to expect of us," SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
The SEC has been criticized for missing the Bernard Madoff scandal, and the Obama administration has suggested moving some of its oversight, including that of policing mutual funds, into a new consumer financial regulatory agency.
Schapiro said the SEC would like to expand its ranks by 1,000 in fiscal 2011, up substantially from its current 3,500 employees.
"My view is that I don't want to create new gaps in the regulatory system," Schapiro told senators. "Moving mutual fund regulation out of the SEC into another agency has the potential to do that," the SEC chairman said.
Credit Suisse Creates Investment Strategies Unit
Credit Suisse has formed an investment strategies and solutions group, to be led by David Russ, the former chief investment officer of Dartmouth College's office of investments. The division will collaborate with the institutional distribution team.
Russ will assume the title of managing director and chief investment strategist. Before joining Dartmouth, he was treasurer of the regents and vice president for investments in the office of the president at the University of California. He was also managing director of public markets at the University of Texas Investment Management Co. and senior portfolio manager at Stanford University.
Mark Bourgeois, managing director and head of distribution for asset management, said: "The formation of the investment strategies and solutions group is the next step in providing clients with a coordinated, efficient and strategic approach to investing in a range of products across the spectrum of asset classes and investment styles."
He added, "Asset management clients will benefit from David's deep expertise in portfolio construction and management, as well as his significant knowledge of endowment, foundation and pension plan management."
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