Birthday: December 19, 1961
Age: 59 Years, 59 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Abigail Pierrepont Johnson
Born Country: United States
Born in: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Famous as: CEO of Fidelity Investments
Spouse/Ex-: Christopher John McKown (m. 1988)
father: Edward Johnson III
mother: Elizabeth Johnson
siblings: Edward C. Johnson IV, Elizabeth Johnson
children: Julia McKown
U.S. State: Massachusetts
education: Harvard Business School, Buckingham Browne & Nichols Upper School, William Smith College Harvard University
Who is Abigail Johnson?
Abigail Johnson is the President and CEO of Fidelity Investments, an American investment firm, and its international sister concern, Fidelity International. The Boston-based company was founded by her grandfather, Edward C. Johnson II in 1946 to manage mutual funds. One of the few women who run a mutual fund mammoth today, she took over the reins of Fidelity Investments in challenging times and grew it into an empire. She holds an estimated 24.5% stake in the firm that has close to $2.7 trillion in the form of managed assets. As someone who has put her faith in cryptocurrencies, her firm launched a platform that allows investors to trade in ether and bitcoins. Known to her colleagues as ‘Abby’, she is a well-respected figure in the company’s Boston headquarters. Down to earth and media shy, she is rarely seen giving interviews to newspapers or media channels.
In 1980, soon after finishing her high school, Abigail began working at Fidelity Investments in the customer relationship department attending phone calls. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1988, she re-joined Fidelity as a lowly stock analyst in the Select Industrial Equipment Fund division.
In a few years, she became a Portfolio manager and immediately established herself, by consistently achieving positive results for Fidelity’s long client list. By 1994, she made it to the post of Associate Director.
A year later, her father divested a major chunk of his voting rights in Fidelity Investments, relinquishing it to the parent company FMR. This, experts believed, was an indication of his confidence in his daughter to succeed him as chairman in the future.
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Presidency & Its Challenges
On May 2001, Abigail Johnson became President of the mutual fund division of Fidelity, making her the third most powerful individual in the $1.4 trillion company after her father and Robert L. Reynolds, company CEO.
Even though Fidelity was managing $900 billion and $100 billion worth of domestic and overseas mutual funds respectively at the time, it faced two challenges. One concern was the bearish market that had left many stock values battered, while the other challenge came from their competitor, Vanguard Group who had gained ground in the financial market.
To remedy the situation, she tweaked the company policy of small and incremental growths to include periodic mergers and acquisitions. As President of Fidelity, she encouraged aggressive buying and selling in the open market, without looking at market indices. Her orders to her portfolio managers was simple – be more aggressive with your acquisition strategies.
She took over the real estate division of Fidelity as President in May 2005.
Current Business Standing & Net Worth
Today, Abigail Johnson as President and CEO of Fidelity Investments is one of the few women around the world to be successfully managing a trillion-dollar mutual fund empire. Her family inheritance combined with her professional success made her the fourth richest businesswoman in America in 2017.
According to Forbes, her net worth is estimated to be approximately $14 billion as of October 2019.
Awards & Honours
She is the first woman to serve on the board of Financial Services Forum, which is a non-partisan American economic policy and financial services organization. FSF members include CEOs of the biggest and most diverse institutions of financial services, operating in America.
She was ranked 5th among the most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine in 2018. In the magazine’s Billionaires 2019, she is ranked 71st.
MIT Quid Pro Quo Controversy
On August 5th, 2019, a lawsuit was filed against MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the Massachusetts federal court on the grounds that they had engaged in a quid pro quo agreement with Fidelity Investments.
In 2015, MIT chose Fidelity Investments as its recordkeeper for its 401(k) plans at a fee said to be 300% higher than the market rate.
According to the petitioners, there was an understanding that Fidelity in return offered a substantial donation to the institution.
They also wanted Abigail Johnson to testify in court. MIT reached a settlement with the aggrieved parties on September 12, 2019.
Family & Personal Life
Abigail Pierrepont Johnson was born in December 19, 1961, to Edward Johnson III and his wife, Elizabeth Johnson in Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A. She along with her father is the co-owner of Fidelity Investments and Fidelity International.
She married Christopher John McKown in 1988 and the couple have two daughters. Her husband is the Chief Executive, and co-founder of Iora Health, LLC, a service provider in the health care information sector.
She enjoys skiing as a recreation and has named the HBO Original ‘Silicon Valley’ to be her favourite TV show.