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Abigail Johnson succeeds father at Fidelity Investments

Abigail Johnson, the new chief executive of Fidelity Investments

Abigail Johnson, third gen of the Fidelity Investments financial empire, has been appointed chief executive of the US giant.

Boston-based Johnson, 51, will replace her father, Ned Johnson III, 84, who has been at the helm of the company since 1977.

Johnson has a 26-year history with the family business, starting as an equity analyst, and being appointed president in 2012, where she oversaw the company’s core businesses – asset management, retail and institutional brokerage, and retirement and benefits services.

At one point, her father had reportedly considered non-family members to head the firm. In 2010, he split control of Fidelity into two units, appointing his daughter to lead all client-focused businesses and Ronald O’Hanley as head of asset management. O’Hanley left his post earlier this year.

Johnson graduated from William Smith College in 1984 with a degree in art history, before obtaining an MBA from Harvard four years later.

The Johnson family owns a 49% stake in Fidelity, which was founded in 1946 by Edward Johnson II, and is today one of the largest mutual fund groups in the world.

It is not known what the family’s individual stakes in the company are, but, according to Forbes, Johnson is estimated to have a net worth of $12.3 billion, while her father is estimated to have a net worth of $6.8 billion.

She has two younger siblings: a brother, Edward IV, who is vice president of Fidelity’s real estate arm, Pembroke; and a sister, Elizabeth, who does not work in the family business, but is an active member of the US equestrian circuit. 

The family manages its wealth through its family office, Crosby Advisors.

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