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Fidelity CEO in Bloomberg Interview Talks Fees, Technology, Industry Trends

In an in-depth interview with Bloomberg Markets, Fidelity chief executive Abigail Johnson and Kathleen Murphy, head of Fidelity’s personal investing division, discussed the rationale behind Fidelity’s launch of no-fee index funds, among other topics. Johnson said the no-fee, no-minimum offering has been successful in in attracting investors and was a good way to let customers give the company a try with as little friction as possible. Johnson also discussed the challenges of charging customers for asset management services and the complexity of having an appropriate fee regime that is understandable for customers. She expressed hope that customers will continue to pay for active management, adding that Fidelity has learned a lot about what it takes to be really good in active management. She summed up the formula as: low or zero fees and great service. Johnson and Murphy discussed recent harassment allegations, diversity and the increasing number of women appointed to prominent positions at the firm. Johnson described technology initiatives and the firm’s push to appeal to millennials with digital services. With respect to expansion, Johnson said Fidelity sees growth opportunities in the U.K. and Japan.