(Photo by Flickr user Adam Fagen, used under a Creative Commons license)
Baltimore is among a group of cities being targeted for expansion by Fidelity Investments, as the financial services company aims to hire for over 4,000 positions in the next six months.
In all, the Boston-based company is expanding in more than 20 markets. The company’s move to the Baltimore area will be part of an effort to add 1,000 licensed financial planners, the company said. Other nearby cities in the region tabbed for entrance by Fidelity include Philly, D.C., New York, Richmond and Charlotte.
Fidelity is planning to hire an average of 50 remote licensed certified financial planners in each of the new markets, including in Baltimore. It is estimating 25 hires each in the second and third quarters of the year, though the numbers may fluctuate, said company spokeswoman Kimberly Reingold.
“Growing our U.S. footprint and expanding our technology teams will allow us to source diverse and innovative talent to meet our customers’ changing financial needs today and, in the future,” said Mark Barlow, general manager of personal investing at Fidelity Investments, in a statement.
The positions will mostly be remote. However, Fidelity does have an existing investor center in Towson.
“Any certified financial planners hired in the Baltimore area will have access to the Towson location when needed, and may occasionally gather there for team meetings, training, or other events and activities when safe to do so,” Reingold said via email. “This can help the associate experience Fidelity’s culture for business continuity purposes or promote collaboration and innovation, and to help foster community and expand networking. However, these associates will mostly be remote.”
Another area of focus for the hiring push is in tech talent. On the heels of increased use of digital products during the pandemic, it is seeking to grow the number of technologists by 10% across the company. The focus markets for that move are Durham, North Carolina; Merrimack, New Hampshire; Smithfield, Rhode Island; Boston; and Westlake, Texas. Baltimore is not among the focus areas for the tech roles, even though the city has been tabbed as one that might benefit from companies casting a wider net for software talent.
The company is also adding 2,500 customer-facing roles in existing markets, including financial consultants and customer service representatives.
Fidelity Investments has $10.2 trillion in assets under administration. Its investment services have clients including a mix of individuals, businesses and institutions seeking to invest clients’ money. The company grew in 2020, as well, adding more than 7,200 new associates that year, which was a year-over-year increase of 50%.
The big hiring news comes amid a pandemic and economic downturn that leaves the region with an unemployment rate of 6.8%, per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported in March. As of January 2021, the financial sector employed about 76,200 people in the area, a decrease of 2,900 people from January 2020.
The new roles will mean more jobs in that sector which are remote friendly from a company that, like other decades-old leaders in the sector, is putting lots of resources toward tech growth. However, in this case the tech roles are focused in other markets. In all, it’s an approach that seems to indicate several trends we’ve been seeing from big companies in the pandemic: expanding geographies with remote roles, and adding digital capabilities as demand rises.-30-
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