March 15, 2010

Fidelity Rolls Out New Service Model for Affiliated Advisors and B/D Reps

Centralized client service organization aimed at RIAs, B/Ds, family offices, and traders

Expanding on the positive reception advisors gave a pilot program launched last year, Fidelity Investments on March 15 announced the creation of a new client experience organization designed to meet the evolving demands of Fidelity's advisor clients across the firm's different advisor businesses-- Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, National Financial, Fidelity Family Office Services, and Fidelity Capital Markets. The new organization will be headed by Maggie Serravalli, an executive VP who has overseen client experience for Fidelity's Operations and Services Group since June 2007. In that role, she was responsible for the client management and client service teams of Fidelity's brokerage business--two divisions she still maintains responsibility for in her new position.

The first example of the new organization's efforts is the rollout of new dedicated service teams for the firm's independent advisor clients. The new teams consist of a client service manager, described by Serravalli as "like a quarterback for the team," and a group of professionals from key functional areas, including transfer of assets, new accounts, and money movement--all in a single location. The client service manager acts as the sole point of contact with clients while the rest of the team processes all service interactions and transactions with intimate knowledg and understanding of each client's distinct service and processing needs.

"A strong service culture has always been part of our DNA and this new organization allows us to enhance the overall client experience," Serravalli told Investment Advisor. "The specific rollout of the service teams is really the first evidence of the changes that we're putting in place as a result of having this new organization in place...We're confident that we'll have it all completed in the third quarter of this year so that all of our advisors will benefit from the enhanced service model."

Although the aim of the new organization is to enhance service across business models, each team will have specific areas of expertise. "If we're talking to an advisor, specifically what is going to make a difference for them in their experience?" Serravalli asks. "They're looking for a more personalized approach to service and the broker/dealers are looking for more immediate, direct access to subject matter experts within the organization. So we tailor our services to provide that."

Serravalli describes Fidelity's goals for the program as threefold: "We want to ensure that we consistently provide a stellar service experience across all of our Fidelity businesses. We want to have the opportunity to connect our clients to best practices, and we want to be able to very proactively evolve the service experience to meet the clients' needs as their needs evolve. As we find more and more of the same clients interacting with our multiple businesses simultaneously, we want to ensure that irrespective of whether they're dealing with us through IWS, or whether they're dealing with us through, say, National Financial, that they're getting a consistent service experience, by being able to provide them with a tailored experience."

The new service teams will be located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Westlake, Texas.

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