(Bloomberg) -- Fidelity International Chief Executive Officer Anne Richards is unexpectedly stepping down after five years, leaving the asset manager without an immediate replacement.
Richards, 59, will remain at the firm as a vice chair to help Fidelity with its key external relationships and strategic partnerships, according to a statement Monday. Succession plans “will be communicated at a later date,” the company said.
A spokesperson for Fidelity declined to comment on the reasons for Richards’s decision to retire.
Assets at the firm have almost doubled during Richards’s tenure, jumping from $414 billion when she took over in 2018 to $714.3 billion at the end of September. She has overseen a big push into private markets, hiring dozens of people and debuting the firm’s first private lending fund this year.
Richards, who chairs the industry lobby group TheCity UK, received a damehood for her long career in financial services. Before joining Fidelity she was CEO of M&G Investments, and she previously worked for Aberdeen Asset Management, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Merrill Lynch.
Fidelity International, previously the international arm of Fidelity Investments, was spun off in 1980 to better meet clients needs in regions outside the US. It’s owned mainly by management and members of the founding family.
Chair Abby Johnson said Richards made “significant progress in building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, leading initiatives such as enhanced parental leave, carers leave and dynamic working, ensuring we are well placed to attract and retain the best talent in a post pandemic world.”
(Updates with background on Richards and Fidelity from fourth paragraph.)
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