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Lessons Learned from Fidelity and Fintech


Lessons Learned from Fidelity and Fintech

Stephen Wunker shares an article that explores the lessons learned from Fidelity’s move into Fintech.

Fidelity Investments, with more than $4 trillion in assets under management, is one of the world’s largest financial services firms. But the firm isn’t content with its current status. This privately-owned company founded in 1946, is seeking new markets that will power growth over the long-term. But how?

​One key mechanism is Fidelity Labs, formed more than a decade ago to enable the company to grow new businesses flexibly and fast. While many large enterprises have incubation units, they are often felled by a common set of flaws: capture by pet projects, strategic misalignment, spreading attention too thin, and more. Not Labs. Here are lessons from Fidelity’s experience, seen through the lens of Rick Smyers, a Managing Director who has been in Labs since 2017.

Organize Around Teams: In his nearly five years inside Labs, Smyers has helmed many projects. The Labs organization is set up with individual teams that look much like a start-up in the outside world, with a “founder” (like Smyers) and a dedicated team representing functions required to make the business succeed, from developers to designers to salespeople. His current effort is called Fidelity ESG Pro, a software platform that helps financial advisors start and grow a sustainable investing practice, which incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into their investments. The platform enables advisors to look for opportunities, while also resonating better with some clients who may relate better to this than to the jargon of investing.

Key points include:

  • Examining market trends
  • Identifying barriers

  • Minimizing dependencies

Read the full article, Minimize Dependencies, and Five Other Lessons from Fidelity’s Push Into Fintech, on