Fidelity Investments has $1.9 trillion of assets under management, but the heart of a technology company beats within the firm. Enterprise CTO Stephen Neff manages a $2.5 billion annual budget and chairs a council of 13 chief information officers from the business lines, which in turn are supported by a global technology workforce of 13,000. And yet, Neff says, Fidelity restated its strategy this year to underscore the importance of technology to serving its more than 20 million individual and 5,000 institutional customers. “We want to offer the very best customer experience by providing solutions at scale that are outcome-based rather than product- or security-based, and we want to use technology to advance that vision,” explains the 62-year-old, who joined Boston-based Fidelity in 1996 and has been CTO since January 2013. “The way we deliver experiences is changing,” he adds. “Customers want to view financial solutions in the context of their own personalized world. That means we need to take a holistic view of their relationships and how they engage with technology.” Fidelity developed online and mobile services faster than other companies. Now its Center for Applied Technology is working to get a jump on such emerging trends as wearables (apps for Google Glass and Pebble Watch) and data visualization. A companywide “intrapreneurship” initiative is under way “to source good ideas and get them into a development pipeline,” Neff says.
Enterprise Chief Technology Officer
The 2014 Tech 50