Durbin gets promoted again, this time to lead Fidelity Institutional

Executive who rose up at Morgan Stanley also juggles his old job at Fidelity until a replacement is found

Oct 3, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Less than 10 months after taking over as head of Fidelity Institutional's product and platform technology group, Michael Durbin is moving up the ladder once again to take his boss' job, as head of Fidelity Institutional, where he will be responsible for $2.3 trillion worth of assets under administration while overseeing three business units, the client experience organization, and his old job until a replacement is found.

Mr. Durbin, 49, is taking over for Jeffrey Lagarce, a 62-year-old Fidelity veteran who will be transitioning into a senior adviser role.

The three business groups under Mr. Durbin's charge include Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management, and Fidelity Capital Markets.

(More: Michael Durbin gets to work building out Fidelity's distribution channels to advisers.)

In his new role, Mr. Durbin will join the Fidelity Investments operating committee, and report directly to Abigail Johnson, Fidelity's chairman and chief executive officer.

"Mike has been a leader in helping to drive the evolution of the wealth management industry, ensuring that our clients have the technology, investment solutions and insights they need to succeed in a changing landscape," Ms. Johnson said in a company statement. "His client focus will help to promote the continued growth of Fidelity Institutional, which is an important part of Fidelity's portfolio of businesses."

Mr. Durbin was not available for comment.

Marty Bicknell, president and chief executive at Mariner Wealth Advisors, which has $16 billion under management, and has a custodial relationship with Fidelity, said the move was good for both Fidelity and the industry.

"Mike has been a great resource for Mariner and me, personally," Mr. Bicknell said. "This is great news for Fidelity and the industry. His perspective is very thoughtful, insightful and futuristic."


Prior to his role as head of the product and platform technology group, Mr. Durbin oversaw Fidelity's 2015 acquisition of eMoney Advisor for $215 million.

He joined Fidelity in 2009 to lead the RIA custody unit.

While it was not part of the original plan that Mr. Durbin would become eMoney's CEO, which he was for about six months before Fidelity veteran Ed O'Brien took over in early 2016, Mr. Durbin was seen as instrumental in keeping eMoney at the ideal arm's length from its 70-year-old owner.

"It's a privilege to be able to serve as chief advocate to our clients in order to ensure that we continue to meet their evolving spectrum of needs," Mr. Durbin said in a company statement.

Prior to joining Fidelity, Mr. Durbin acted as chief operating officer of the national sales division for Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management.

In the 18 years he spent at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Durbin held various leadership positions, including head of Capital Markets, head of International Private Wealth Management and chief strategic and risk officer for the Global Individual Investor Group.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lagarce, who turns 63 this fall, is seen as gradually moving toward retirement, but is still considered a valuable resource to Ms. Johnson, according to one source familiar with the situation.

Mr. Lagarce joined Fidelity in 1996.


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