Fidelity Jumps Feet First Into The Fray

On a cool day in October, 1991, 50 top managers of Boston's Fidelity Investments gathered at a Cape Cod resort to consider an unsettling problem: After years of steady growth, Fidelity's retail business had plateaued at 6.2 million accounts. True, the booming stock market had boosted revenues, profits, and assets under management. But executives feared they were out of sync with small investors--their core market--a trend that could arrest future growth. Recalls Fidelity Chairman Edward C. Johnson 3rd: "We knew we were doing something wrong."

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