Fidelity Capital Markets is bucking the downsizing trend. The agency broker and division of Fidelity Investments is planning to open a new trading floor in the Rockefeller Center area of Manhattan's midtown. Currently the company's trading operations are predominantly located in Boston, where it has a trading floor that houses approximately 400 traders and support staff. Fidelity also has a small trading room at One World Financial Center in New York.
The midtown floor, expected to be completed during the second quarter, will be home to about 100 traders and support staff, according to Mark Haggerty, president, Fidelity Capital Markets Services. To ramp up, he says, Fidelity is hiring in the areas of equities, fixed income, sales, sales trading and prime brokerage, among others.
“We believe [that] in this market we can pick up some great talent,” Haggerty says. The move has been discussed internally as part of a growth strategy for about a year, he adds. Fidelity sees growth opportunities coming from its prime brokerage and transition management operations, as well as commission sharing arrangements (CSAs), a service Fidelity recently launched.
Midtown was chosen in preference to downtown because many of Fidelity’s clients are hedge funds based in midtown and Connecticut, so midtown is an easier location to service those clients, Haggerty notes.
The firm has already started hiring. In September Fidelity hired Mike Cashel in Boston to lead its institutional equity division, and in January the firm hired Mathew McConnell as senior vice president and head of sales trading for institutional equities. McConnell will oversee the various sales and trading teams for Fidelity Capital Markets, including program trading and electronic brokerage sales. He and Cashel will play a large role in managing the New York trading desk, Haggerty reports. The firm has also already hired New York personnel for prime brokerage, transition management and CSAs. Fidelity has hired about 10 to 12 people so far in New York from firms including Bear Stearns, Bank of America and BNY ConvergEx.
The technology used on the new floor will be similar to that of the Boston floor, though details on the technology were not yet available. The floor will have a dedicated generator and several disaster recovery backup sites.