Gaining access: Q&A with Victoria Redgrave of Fidelity Investments
FMR Investment Management UK is the London-based arm of Fidelity Investments, founded in Boston in 1946. With assets under management of $3.2 tn, Fidelity Investments operates a brokerage firm, manages a large family of mutual funds and provides fund distribution, investment advice, retirement services, index funds, wealth management, crypto-currencies, life insurance and securities execution and clearance.
The London office opened in 2006, and Victoria Redgrave has been director of corporate access and broker relations there since February 2018. Since 2012 she has been on Fidelity’s corporate access team. She joined Fidelity as an equity investment co-ordinator in 2007.
I think there were about two buy-side corporate access teams operating in London in 2012. What has changed in the space since you have been on Fidelity’s corporate access team?
Yes, as far as I am aware, two long-only buy-side companies had up-andrunning corporate access functions, and that was FMR – we built our [London corporate access] team in 2012 – and Norges Bank Investment Management soon after in 2013. Some hedge funds had also started internalizing this function.
Over the last few years, we have seen an expansion of buy-side corporate access with Wellington Management, T Rowe Price, Fidelity International, BlackRock and Capital Group establishing in-house corporate access capabilities. At FMR, we view corporate access as being a vital part of the investment process and a valuable resource to build on our ability to strengthen corporate partnerships.
Since the implementation of Mifid II in January 2018, there has been a drive among investors to create corporate access teams as they receive more requests for direct contact. What is your strategy for this?
We’ve always taken a direct approach. At FMR our analysts own the relationship with the companies they cover. Having direct communication on results days, on news flow, when an analyst reaches out with any questions and having that regular back and forth is extremely helpful.
The FMR global corporate access team complements those existing relationships and serves as a great entry point for corporate management and IR teams to help develop and build new relationships where we do not have a direct dialogue. We’re aware that we are a large machine with many asset classes within FMR – the global corporate access team can help educate and explain our investment organization and research structure.
Each team has a centralized internal inbox that we provide to the IR community so it has a local contact to help point it in the right direction in each region. We encourage the IR community to contact us directly.
How large is your corporate access team now?
FMR has made a significant commitment to build out a global corporate access capability. The team was first established in 2001 in Boston. Over the last eight years, we’ve added coverage in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. We have eight corporate access professionals globally today.