Fidelity's Pyramis Continues to 'Aggressively' Hire

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Fidelity Investments continues to "aggressively" recruit talent for Pyramis Global Advisors, its institutional asset management division.

A statement from the world's largest mutual fund company underscores how the financial services industry in the Boston area appears to be holding up better than Wall Street firms, which are reeling from the meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage market.

"Pyramis has been hiring aggressively and continues to do so," says Scott Beyerl, a Fidelity spokesman. "A primary focus for hiring right now is investment management."

Pyramis, which has been based in Boston since its founding in 2005, expects to complete building its new headquarters in Smithfield, R.I., by the end of the third quarter. A new trading desk, as well as its systems, marketing and investment operations, are already located at a facility adjacent to the new headquarters site, he told eFinancialCareers News.

Beyerl declined to offer specifics on Pyramis' hiring plans other than to deny speculation it was cutting back on talent acquisition. He insists Pyramis has not had any difficulties finding qualified candidates, saying, "Pyramis has been able to recruit top people from both inside and outside of Fidelity for positions across the firm."

Late last year, Pyramis named five veterans to its equity trading and operations team. Peter J. Smail, a 20-year veteran of Fidelity, currently heads the firm but in January announced his intention to retire. He's agreed to say on while a search was conducted for his replacement.

"That search is still in progress and we're hopeful that a successor will be on board in the next couple of months," says Beyerl. "After that time, Peter plans to remain an active consultant to Pyramis and Fidelity."

The picture at Pyramis may be more optimistic than in other areas of Fidelity. In November, managers were told to start sending layoff notices to employees in divisions such as information technology and retirement services, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Fidelity, which employs about 8,000 in Boston, downplayed talk of corporate-wide job cuts, insisting those decisions were being made by the heads of individual businesses, says Reuters.

Separately, State Street Corp. may be expanding outside of Boston proper. Recently, yhe Boston Herald reported State Street "is on the hunt for hundreds of thousands of square feet of additional space in Boston's suburbs." A company spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the report, and officials from the city of Boston could not be reached.

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