Fidelity: The Ascension of Abigail Johnson

Rodger Lawson exited his no. 2 position at Fidelity in March, and Abby Johnson is stepping into the role, along with Ronald O'Hanley.
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In the land of mutual funds, Fidelity is king, with $1.5 trillion in mutual fund assets. It may have a new queen, however. Abigail "Abby" Johnson, daughter of Edward "Ned" Johnson III, is another step closer to taking the position captained by her father and grandfather, at the helm of the mutual fund giant.

Rodger Lawson exited his no. 2 position in March, and Abby Johnson is stepping into the role, along with Ronald O'Hanley. Lawson's responsibilities have been split, with Johnson president of Fidelity Personal, Workplace and Institutional Services and O'Hanley the president of Asset Management and Corporate Services. Reports say that O'Hanley could potentially move into the top spot, but it looks as though Johnson has the inside track to take the helm.

While nepotism is common in the top ranks of family-run, privately held businesses, like Fidelity, outsiders have been brought in from time to time. Their tenures, however, have not been long, in many cases. For instance, Lawson spent less than three years with the firm.

As mentioned here last year,

Johnson is currently president of Personal and Workplace Investing, a unit of Fidelity Investments, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans and a leading online brokerage firm. In this role, she oversees more than 17,000 employees who help millions of customers save and invest through individual retail accounts and workplace savings plans. Her new role adds responsibility for the institutional side. Johnson also is a vice chairman and director of FMR LLC, the holding company for the businesses of Fidelity Investments, and a member of the Fidelity Executive Committee.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management held no positions in stocks mentioned.

Don Dion is president and founder of

Dion Money Management

, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.

Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.