Fidelity promotes founder’s granddaughter to top job

Abigail Johnson has just become the most powerful woman in finance, taking over the US mutual funds business with $1.6bn (£1bn) of assets

You have probably never heard of her, but Abigail Johnson has just become the most powerful woman in finance. Promoted to run all of Fidelity Investments’ main businesses on Wednesday, she is now in pole position to take over the vast US mutual funds business that her grandfather set up in 1946 and which now manages $1.6bn (£1bn) of assets.

Johnson, 50, will still report to her 82-year-old father, Edward Johnson III, who remains the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. While the promotion puts her in line to take the top job, it will not silence critics who question why Mr Johnson is clinging onto power at a company he has run for the past 45 years.

Married with two children, Ms Johnson has a personal wealth of more than $10bn, making her the 29th richest person in the US. She was previously in charge of Fidelity’s distribution business, where she worked with the head of asset management and corporate services, Ronald O’Hanley, to align their separate parts of the business. O’Hanley will keep his job but will now report to Johnson in her new job, which brings together all Fidelity’s core businesses under her leadership.

Mr Johnson said in a statement: “During her 24-year career at Fidelity, Abby has gained a breadth of experience overseeing many of the divisions that comprise financial services. She is well suited for this important position.”

Fidelity Investments is a separate company from Fidelity Worldwide Investments, which has offices in London, although Mr Johnson is a shareholder in both companies. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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