Fidelity Investments plans to hire 4,000 people over the next six months as the money manager benefits from this year’s turmoil while some of its rivals struggle.

The Boston-based firm said Tuesday the additions will be in areas including financial advisers and customer service agents, and represent a 15 per cent increase in associates who focus on clients.

Millions of new and existing customers are opening accounts, increasing trading activity and contributing additional savings, Fidelity said in a statement. Another money management giant, BlackRock Inc., reported record assets Tuesday as investors poured in money across its product line.

“Fidelity’s hiring moves during troubled times is consistent,” said Jim Lowell, editor of the Fidelity Investor newsletter. “During past major market and economic crises it has strived to come out of the difficult period having hired more people and gained overall market share.”

Success at the industry’s biggest players comes as other asset managers struggle to win business amid choppy markets and an uneven economic recovery. Companies including Invesco Ltd. and Franklin Resources Inc. have struggled, facing double-digit share price drops and falling assets. The trend toward larger, more diverse fund firms -- particularly ones with passive, index-tracking products -- seems to have accelerated this year.

“We continue to see very strong growth, both in new accounts to Fidelity as well as deeper engagement from our existing client base,” Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing, said in the statement.

Even some of the stronger asset managers are getting snapped up. Last week, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay US$7 billion for Eaton Vance Corp. in a move to bulk up in a business that offers steady fees and access to wealthy clients.

While investment managers have largely avoided layoffs during the pandemic, many have trimmed staff. Franklin Templeton in July said it was planning to slash 8 per cent of its workforce after closing the acquisition of Legg Mason Inc. Nuveen, the investment management arm of retirement savings giant TIAA, said about 4 per cent of its staff took voluntary buyouts this year.

Fidelity also said Tuesday it is recruiting 1,000 college students for its 2021 summer internship program and 500 graduates for training programs. The company employs more than 45,000 people globally, including more than 5,000 in Boston. It had a record $3.3 trillion in assets under management as of August.

(Updates with pressure on industry starting in sixth paragraph.)

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