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Scullen III
President, Corporate Operations
Fidelity Investments
Last year: 6

Fidelity Investments is "overindexed versus the competition." That is Stephen Scullen III's polite way of saying that the $1.6 trillion asset management giant commits more dollars and people to technology than its top-tier financial industry peers do. He adds, with no hint of euphemism, "We view it as a competitive advantage." As president of operations, Scullen, 58, has responsibility for technology firmwide — including international locations and a workforce of 12,000 — as well as the asset management group's back office. A Fidelity executive for 15 years after honing his trading and custody systems expertise with Bank of Boston Corp. and State Street Corp., Scullen is building on an e-business tradition that has put his firm in the forefront of such innovations as online brokerage and wireless account access. Mobile advances are "getting disruptive," he observes, and Boston-based Fidelity has become an app factory, producing upgrades for Apple and Android clients bimonthly or quarterly. The pace is so fast that "we have to be aware of customers' ability to absorb change," while being sensitive to differences in usage patterns among age groups. Especially exciting, says Scullen, are "new opportunities presented by technology itself. We are able to do things, like active trading on a mobile device or building models around tax-advantaged strategies, that weren't possible even one or two years ago."