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Fidelity to Merge Custody and Clearing Units

Fidelity to Merge Custody and Clearing Units

Fidelity Institutional will combine its custody and clearing units and launch a new technology unit to be lead by Michael Durbin, current president of the firm’s RIA custody business, the firm announced Wednesday.

The firm has been slowly combining core functions of its custody and clearing businesses over the last five years, including the client experience team, the product group and the platform technology team. The firm also reorganized client segments, with banks and broker/dealers under National Financial, and RIAs, professional asset managers, strategic acquirers and retirement advisors and recordkeepers under Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services.

The move to combine the units reflects the convergence of business models in the financial advice industry, Fidelity said. The combined businesses will be called Fidelity Clearing and Custody, which will be lead by Sanjiv Mirchandani, the current president of National Financial, the clearing business.

Durbin will spearhead Fidelity Wealth Technologies, the new unit launched to develop digital technology and speed innovation across the firm’s business units.

"Our clients' technology needs across the enterprise and the broader technology needs of the financial services industry are limitless, so having a dedicated organization to grow, develop and rapidly deliver technology solutions can help drive our collective success," said Michael Wilens, president of Fidelity Enterprise Services, in a statement.

In early February, Fidelity surprised the industry by purchasing eMoney Advisor, the widely-used wealth planning software. Fidelity was building what it calls its “next generation” technology platform and realized eMoney already did a lot of what they were looking to create, says Durbin. Those areas included better integrations with other tools, more ways to collaborate between advisors and clients, and data aggregation. eMoney will play a critical role in building out that platform.

When the transaction closes, Edmond Walters, founder and CEO of eMoney, will report to Durbin, while maintaining his role leading eMoney. 

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