May 5, 2011

Fidelity Ultra-HNW Program Nears $2 Billion in Assets

Wealthiest clients gain access to family office services; Norton to head program

Fidelity Investments announced Thursday that its new program for RIAs with ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients had, in only six months of existence, already reached nearly $2 billion in assets. The company also said that Trevor A. Norton has been brought on board as senior vice president and head of the program.

Since its launch in October of 2010, the UHNW program has provided the wealthiest clients of RIAs, those whose investable assets total $50 million or higher, access to services most often found in family offices. These services include such amenities as a dedicated relationship management team and investment analyst/trader and an open architecture reporting system.

Norton, who has 13 years of experience working with RIAs, will develop and implement the program’s strategic business plan as well as oversee the day-to-day program activities. His experience includes providing advisors with sophisticated wealth management products and building custody solutions to help meet the needs of RIAs.

In an interview with AdvisorOne, Fidelity spokesman Steve Austin said that the marketplace for the program was broad, since, according to Bernstein Research figures from 2010, there were currently more than 34,000 UHNW households with investable assets of more than $4.4 trillion. He added, “We are in various stages of discussions with dozens of RIA firms with billions of dollars in assets.”

The UHNW program provides RIAs and their clients with the following:

  • Dedicated Client Service — A relationship management team, consisting of a relationship manager, client service manager, platform support specialist and investment analyst/trader, dedicated to responding to each client’s needs
  • Investment Services— A team providing a single point of contact for trading and access to investment-related information
  • Reporting and Administrative Services




    • Fidelity WealthCentral for Family Offices, which is an integrated portfolio reporting and trading platform that provides a comprehensive view of family wealth, including marketables and alternative assets
    • Fidelity Family Office Services, which can provide services such as trust, partnership accounting, private foundation and general ledger export services
  • Insights and Connections — Access to research and educational content on topics such as family education and governance, risk, operational efficiencies, etc.; clients also have access to a peer network program where they can meet and share best practices with other family offices.

Michael R. Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, said in a statement, “RIAs and their UHNW clients often expect a different level of service, and the initial success from both existing and new investor accounts is evidence that we can help meet those expectations.”

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