Fidelity announces new business initiative in India

Written by Businesswire India | Mumbai, June 30: | Updated: Jun 30 2008, 21:26pm hrs
-- India becomes the 5th country to launch FundsNetwork

-- Fidelity Advisers Institute launched in Phase 1

-- AMFI Certification Preparatory Module now available on www.fundsnetwork.co.in

Fidelity International on Monday announced that it would launch its world-renowned, award winning, online fund platform, FundsNetwork in India. FundsNetwork will be an open architecture fund platform that will offer online a range of funds from a number of fund houses. It will help intermediaries to grow their business by allowing them to focus on customer acquisition, advice and relationship management without being concerned about back office and administration issues. India will be the 5th country in the Fidelity Group to launch FundsNetwork, after the U.S., U.K., Germany and Taiwan. In Phase 1, Fidelity today launched the Fidelity Advisers Institute, Fidelitys centre for excellence, for advisers.

Robert Higginbotham, President, Fidelity International, said, I am delighted that we are bringing our best-in-class online fund platform to India. Backed by our experience in international markets, FundsNetwork will be a business partner for mutual fund agents (MFAs) by providing them Business Coaching to help them grow their business aided by state-of-the-art Practice Management tools. India is a strategic market for us and the FundsNetwork initiative demonstrates our commitment to expanding the mutual fund industry here.

FundsNetwork is a technology powered solution that allows MFAs to devote their time entirely to their professional role of managing and advising their clients. Advisers will benefit from business tools that will support transactional and reporting requirements as well as planning and guidance needs.

Ashu Suyash, Managing Director and Country Head India, Fidelity International, added, Market development and penetration of mutual funds has been severely limited by the smaller number of agents selling funds, especially when compared to the insurance industrys strength in number of agents. The challenge has been further aggravated by poor acceptance of mutual funds among insurance agents.

In the first phase of FundsNetwork, we are launching the Fidelity Advisers Institute, Fidelitys centre for excellence, for advisers, which will focus on Business Coaching and Practice Management with programmes tailored to help MFAs grow their business. The Fidelity Advisers Institute will also seek to bring in new advisers by helping them learn about mutual funds and becoming registered agents with AMFI. I believe that our AMFI Certification Preparatory Module can help improve the percentage of candidates passing the AMFI exam. At the same time, MFAs who are currently selling mutual funds can also avail of other training modules that will help them upskill and upsell.

The Fidelity Advisers Institute will offer comprehensive training and development programmes for advisers free of charge. This will include both e-learning and face-to-face training from a panel of trainers on a range of subjects, including marketing, holistic financial skills and soft skills, while also helping them learn good business practices. Advisers can visit www.fundsnetwork.co.in to see the programme schedule and to register themselves for training courses which begin in July.

One of the highlights of the online training is the AMFI Certification Preparatory Module which can be used by anyone who wants to become an adviser and is required to take the AMFI exam. This Module includes all 15 chapters in comprehensive detail and in an easy-to-understand format. It also provides mock exams that evaluate the candidates preparedness and identify the topics that need more study.

About Fidelity

The word "fidelity" stands for commitment and integrity. It was for these values that it was chosen for the firms name 60 years ago were committed to each and every customer and invest with integrity.

The recognition of this approach has enabled us to become one of the worlds oldest, largest and leading fund managers with almost US$1.8 trillion in global assets under management. FIL Limited manages more than US$260 billion worldwide and our US affiliate, Fidelity Management & Research LLC (FMR LLC) manages over US$1.5 trillion as at March 31, 2008.

The Fidelity story started in 1930 when the Fidelity Fund was founded in the United States (the 10th mutual fund founded in the US), and was followed by the formation of FMR LLC in 1946 to serve as investment adviser to this fund.

The focus on servicing each customer with individual commitment and integrity saw the firm grow and expand overseas. Today, Fidelity has offices in 25 countries around the globe and throughout Asia. FIL Limited was established in 1969 to serve the investment needs of individuals, institutions and advisers in markets outside the Americas. FIL Limited and its subsidiaries now manage assets of more than US$260 billion for investors worldwide and provide mutual funds, defined contribution pensions, segregated portfolios and multi-manager products.

Fidelitys widely acclaimed platform, FundsNetwork, has a presence in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Taiwan. Now India has become the latest country to get the FundsNetwork platform. In the U.K. FundsNetwork has $25 billion of third party administered assets and in the U.S., FundsNetwork has $766 billion of third party assets under management. (Both figures as at 31.12.07)

FIL Fund Management Private Limited (FFMPL) is the Indian arm of Fidelity International. It started its operations in the country in 2004 and currently offers Indian investors investment options through its five equity funds and four fixed income funds.

Central to Fidelitys success is a pioneering spirit, a commitment to innovation that sets new industry standards and an unmatched investment in research, talent, technology and investor education. And at the heart of our business philosophy is our belief in putting investors' interest above all else.

Sources:

1 - Fidelity and World Federation of Exchanges as at 30 June 2007

2 - Includes FMRs US and Canadian operations