Fidelity investing head Ronald O’Hanley to leave in February

Fidelity Investments said Ronald P. O’Hanley, the firm’s head of asset management since 2010, will leave at the end of February, without giving a reason. More

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Fidelity investing head Ronald O’Hanley to leave in February

Posted 1/22/14

BOSTON – Fidelity Investments said Ronald P. O’Hanley, the firm’s head of asset management since 2010, will leave at the end of February, without giving a reason.

The Boston-based firm, the second-largest mutual fund company, plans to replace O’Hanley with an internal successor, whom it didn’t name, according to a memo to employees today from President Abigail Johnson.

“Ron has effectively led the globalization of our investment team, driven solid investment performance across asset classes, built influential stakeholder relationships and launched innovative advancements to existing and new products,” Johnson said in the memo.

O’Hanley, 56, took over as Fidelity was struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and investors fled actively managed stock funds, the firm’s traditional area of strength. Two years later, the company named Abigail Johnson president, positioning her to succeed Chairman Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III.

O’Hanley is the second high-profile executive to quit at a top U.S. money manager in as many days, after the resignation of Pimco head Mohamed El-Erian yesterday.

‘Family company’

“Because it is a family company, the number two job at Fidelity is a challenging one,” Russel Kinnel, director of mutual-fund research at Chicago-based Morningstar Inc., said in a telephone interview. “Historically it is a position in which people don’t stay very long.”

O’Hanley joined from Bank of New York Mellon Corp., where he also oversaw money management, as Fidelity split its investing and distribution businesses under two presidents. Abigail Johnson simultaneously took over all client-facing units the same day.

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