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All Things Digital: Fidelity's Kathleen Murphy On Using Millennials As 'Highest Standard' For Creating Experiences

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All Things Digital: Fidelity's Kathleen Murphy On Using Millennials As 'Highest Standard' For Creating Experiences
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To appeal to a broader client base, Fidelity Investments is embracing “all things digital” and recruiting millennial talent.

“Frankly, we’re using millennials as the highest standard for how we create the capabilities and experiences,” Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing at Fidelity, said at the 2017 Benzinga Fintech Awards. “Millennials, while they don’t have the most money, they have the highest digital standards, and we can always calibrate to people in their 50s, 60s and 70s.”

For the most part, the younger demographic helps Fidelity understand the digital experience, and that insight is extrapolated to clients across the board.

Give And Take

The wisdom flows two ways, though. As millennials inform Murphy’s business approach, they can stand to learn a trick or two from the former wealth management CEO of ING Groep NV (ADR) (NYSE: ING) and general counsel of Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET).

Murphy’s leadership is best summarized by her three office signs, the aphorisms of which proved critical to her storied career.

  • Attitude is everything. “People want to be around people that are positive, that embrace every new opportunity, that want to win.”
  • Thou shalt not whine. “Don’t be negative. Be solutions-oriented. Yes, you have to tell what the problems are, but embrace the solution and be the one that’s trying to solve the problem.”
  • Well-behaved women rarely make history. “It’s about taking risks, embracing failure, going for it, getting out of your comfort zone to continue to grow.”

Theory In Action

Risk-taking involves operational overhaul. Driven by the philosophy, “You don’t make progress sitting in the office,” Murphy spends much of her time visiting regional associates across the country and improving their experiences, “because nothing happens without great associates.”

The priority is creating environments conducive to innovation, which requires transformation of physical workspaces, career development opportunities and technological equipment.

“It’s culture, but it’s also breaking down stupid processes,” Murphy said. “We call our environment ‘down with beige.’ Get rid of the cubes, make sure that people can collaborate in a much more energizing way.”

 

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Posted-In: Benzinga Fintech Awards Benzinga Global Fintech Awards fidelity investmentsEducation Movers & Shakers Top Stories Interview General Best of Benzinga

 

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