Watch Fidelity International’s CEO, Anne Richards, discuss how the industry needs to help more young women understand investing.
Watch Fidelity International’s CEO, Anne Richards, discuss how the industry needs to help more young women understand investing.
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5/25/2022

How Fidelity International's Internal Culture is Helping Them to Ensure Discipline and Resilience in the Workplace

The deep valley of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a heavy load on people and companies, especially with the increasing noise that has been surrounding us over the last year. For most companies, profit maximisation has always been at the top of the agenda, but the current climate has forced many of them to refine their perspectives by assessing their priorities and the way they work to ensure that the business flourishes.

     Watch Fidelity International’s CEO, Anne Richards, discuss how the industry needs to help more young women understand investing.

A new horizon where people are at the centre of the equation has emerged, and it seems to be here to stay. Fidelity International is among the companies that have boldly and successfully embraced this exciting proposition.

What does that look like for them? Well, quoting the iconic Anne Richards – CEO of Fidelity International – the company is championing this approach by “giving fund managers as much latitude as it is possible within the mandate for the money that they are looking after for other people. And [all this] within the regulatory rules that sit around it, enabling them to find the place where they can do really well.”

Fidelity International clearly understands the role that authenticity and inclusivity play, as well as the importance of social impact amidst the current pandemic, and therefore they embrace the idea of “allowing people to flourish as individuals within this very strong team cultural environment where managers with different personality and schedule types are able to define for themselves what ethos and excess could feel like.”

Of course, it is also natural to be concerned about how this would translate business-wise, and indeed there is a strong connection between performance levels and individuals´ overall wellbeing, their freedom to create or adjust, their ability to leverage emotional ownership and ultimately, their work environment.

Fidelity International has over 8,400 employees in 24 countries, managing over USD $600 billion (AUM). Anne Richards has been CEO since 2018.
      Fidelity International has over 8,400 employees in 24 countries, managing over USD $600 billion (AUM). Anne Richards has been CEO since 2018.

This leads us to another critical factor: purpose. Although the word ‘purpose’ may not seem to fit in the context of organisational effectiveness and a company´s ambition to maximise financial returns, Fidelity International’s transformation arguably says otherwise. There are numerous examples of Fidelity’s positive internal culture producing some of the greatest investment managers in the industry. This has, in turn, enabled them to enhance their levels of discipline and resilience to the point where they have been able to obtain outstanding annual results.

Fortunately, more and more companies are replicating this approach by incorporating the purpose factor into their equation, especially in a globally transitional moment when many of us are concerned about the future of work. There has been a major shift in the way people view aspects of their life, especially those related to health and self-care components, and people desire emotional ownership and a sense of belonging (which can help them show up at their very best every single day). And having a purpose-led strategy, like Fidelity International, gives companies an edge, across all industries.

“Having a purpose led strategy, like Fidelity International, gives companies an edge, across all industries.”

— AGNES GENOVEVA CHEBA ADE

Research programmes such as Contexis Index revealed that ‘employees passionately want to believe they work somewhere that made a difference in the world. And awareness and understanding of purpose was particularly high´. Through their extensive work across firms, Contexis Index identified that ´strong feeling of emotional ownership led to high levels of engagement and commitment´, which eventually results in a 24% uplift in positivity and productive attitudes.

Simon Sinek, a best-selling author, speaker and globally renowned business and leadership coach, also endorses the idea of understanding and accentuating the WHY behind our actions and the significant impact it creates.

Hence, the question that we may all need to ask ourselves in our new normality - where change appears to be the only constant - is simple: to leapfrog or not to leapfrog.

By Agnes Genoveva Cheba Ade. Agnes is final year financial economics student at Coventry University who has worked in the public sector in Equatorial Guinea. As a result, she worked closely with leading regional and global financial institutions, focusing on good governance, global partnerships, economic development, and communication campaigns. She also represented Equatorial Guinea at Miss World 2014!

The full episode is also available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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