Year in review 2022 - 2023 | Foreword

Since I took over the role as Managing Director of Fidelity’s Australian business late last year, I’ve really been struck by the sophistication and vibrancy of this market. Supported by the superannuation system and an innovative ecosystem, there’s opportunity to both participate and co-create in a number of different ways, which I find really exciting.

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Moving down to the firm level, I’ve come into a business with extremely solid foundations, a best-in-class investment team, and I’m surrounded by people who both care about their clients and want to drive the business forward. I have to keep pinching myself… 

But that aside, there’s no getting  way from the fact it’s a difficult operating environment. High inflation and interest rates are presenting challenges and there’s been net outflow across numerous parts of the financial system over the past 12 months. 

What we’re hearing from clients is that they’re looking for increasingly  differentiated products to help address specific gaps in their portfolios, and there’s a lack of credible options in certain areas of the market. The general consensus is that Fidelity as a firm has a role to play here, not only in bringing world-leading solutions to the Australian market but also, importantly, sharing expertise to help investors navigate current conditions, which are very different to what we have been exposed to over the past decade.

These partnership and co-creation discussions are really important and we’re keen to understand how we can add value to clients’ investment platforms and help them deal with a range of complex issues. 

We will be looking to ‘lean into’ the investment trends around managed accounts, ETFs and increasing allocations to private markets, and will continue to bring best-in-class and differentiated product to the market. We’ll also continue to expand structures that make accessing Fidelity strategies as frictionless as possible. 

As we look ahead to the next 12 months, I think market conditions are still going to be challenging, but there’s also a lot to be positive about. The Fidelity Australian Equities Fund recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary and Portfolio Manager Paul Taylor reminded me that, over that time, he’d seen 10 crises or market downturns. Each was a little bit different and from each he learnt something new, but the case for investing remained the same. If you had invested $10,000 in the fund twenty years ago, today it would be worth $81,660*.

This conversation has stayed with me as although I’m excited about lots of things: continuing to build a differentiated offering for the Australian market, positioning Fidelity as an employer of choice, and building our brand. Fundamentally, investing can make a real impact to people’s financial futures, and we want to partner with clients on that journey.

*As at 30 June 2023.

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