Fidelity Investments has named its top technology executive as the new head of the fund company’s asset management division, putting its flagship division in the hands of someone with no direct investment experience.
Steve Neff succeeds Charlie Morrison, whose retirement after 32 years at Fidelity was previously announced by the Boston company. Morrison, 57, had run asset management since 2014.
“Throughout Fidelity’s history, our most successful and impactful leaders have often been those who have assumed different roles in various parts of the firm,” Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson said in a letter to employees. “Diversity of experience is something I have always valued because of the unique competitive advantages and interconnectedness of Fidelity’s businesses.”
Other leaders of the asset management division also did not have investment experience, according to a Fidelity spokesman. Johnson said she has worked closely with Neff since he joined the company 22 years ago.
Neff, 66, has been head of technology and global services since 2013. He began his Fidelity career in the asset management group and held several positions supporting the investment team, including vice president of asset management technology infrastructure and senior vice president of asset management technology support and operations. From 2005 to 2009, Neff was the chief information officer for the division.
Neff will continue to report to Johnson, according to the memo.
Fidelity has more than 500 funds and $2.5 trillion in assets under management.
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