Fidelity Investments showcases RTP campus

Oct. 17, 2013 @ 07:01 PM

There was an audible buzz in the cubicle-filled room at Fidelity Investments’ office complex in the Research Triangle Park, where headset-wearing customer service employees were working in front of computers.

In January, the room had been empty. Since renovations were completed to the company’s office complex off N.C. 54, the Boston-based financial services company has consolidated local workers there.

The company finished moving workers to the site in July, said Steven McCarthy, Fidelity’s North Carolina-region co-leader. More than 1,800 workers are at the site, out of a total of about 3,200 Fidelity workers in North Carolina.

 “I feel like I’ve been involved in giving birth to this site,” Ronald O’Hanley, president of Fidelity asset management, said at a grand opening ceremony Thursday for Fidelity’s campus. The event drew Mayor Bill Bell, Gov. Pa McCrory and others.

O’Hanley spoke of the company’s beginnings in the state 11 years ago. He said the company purchased an IBM Corp. business group that employed about 450. O’Hanley said the company had acquired vacant land in the park, but decided to renovate existing buildings it had leased, and then acquired, to do what it wanted to do more quickly.

The company acquired the land, about 192 acres, in 2006. Company officials plan to work with park leaders to identify options for its best use, according to an email from company spokesman John Eidson.

Fidelity leased two of the four buildings at the site off N.C. 54 on New Millennium Way, but in September 2011, bought all four. Previously the buildings housed employees of Nortel Networks Corp., a telecommunications equipment company that filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Nortel has been sold off in business chunks.

McCarthy said the renovation of office space in the buildings was done in phases, and there is some work ongoing.

He showed off amenities in the main building, saying it has a wellness center equipped with two doctors and other health providers. He also showed meeting rooms and landscaped green space in the building.

Looking to the future, O’Hanley said the company has “lots of bigger and better things to do” and has the “campus to do it” he said.

About half of Fidelity’s employees at the site work in technology to develop and support financial services software and other functions, McCarthy said. Others at the site have customer service jobs.

The site is one of the company’s largest service locations for institutional clients, McCarthy said. He said they work with employees of clients like New York-based IBM Corp. and Cary-based analytics software provider SAS.

McCarthy said that since the building’s renovation, Fidelity has added about 300 technology workers there who work in technology for the company’s individual customer business. Some employees moved from Boston, he said.

Following Thursday’s ceremony, Fidelity employees boarded buses outside the

campus to volunteer at Lowe’s Grove Middle School. Volunteer projects included working on new technology-related signs for the school, learning demonstrations and refurbishing computers, according to a news release.

Both Bell and McCrory praised the company for its volunteer contribution to the community and welcomed the recent investment in the Research Triangle Park.