Abigail Johnson is an American billionaire businesswoman and is considered the most powerful women in Finance. She is the third generation of Johnson’s to lead Fidelity Investments.
Let’s talk about 15 things about this powerful lady you probably did not know.
Abigail Johnson was born on 19th December, 1961 in Boston. Her grandfather was Edward C. Johnson II founder of the Fidelity Management and Research firm in 1946.
Abigail married Christopher McKown in 1988. He is the Co-Founder of Iora Health LLC, a healthcare information company. They have two daughters. She likes spending quality time with her husband and two daughters.
2.Interest in business since she was an early age
When Abigail used to go to visit her father, she used to be drawn to the energy and buzz around the trading rooms. She was very curious about her parent’s job.
When she was in college she knew that she wanted to have a fast paced as well as a family career.
Abigail and her family have always believed in charity and they are frequent donor to nonprofits in the Boston area. Johnson’s have given money to Harvard, the Institute of Contemporary Art and Historic New England as well.
Being from a renowned family she attended two private schools, Shady Hill School and Buckingham Browne & Nichols. She did her Bachelors in art history from Hobart and William Smith. She worked as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton for a year; it was here that she met her future husband. She then completed her MBA at Harvard Business School.
5.Worked her way up
After completing her MBA she joined her father’s company Fidelity as a low analyst as she was determined to prove herself.
She joined the company as an analyst and portfolio management.
She worked hard and within a few years she was prompted to be a Portfolio Manager.
After that there was no looking back, she became an Associate Director in 1994. By 1998 she was a Senior Vice President at Fidelity Investments.
In May 2001, she became the President of Fidelity’s mutual funds Division. With this post she became the third most powerful person in the company.
She has served as CEO since 2014, when she took over for her father under whom she worked for more than 30 years and has been the chairman since 2016.
The company has reached new heights under her leadership.
7.Member of other associations
- Abigail is the first and only woman who is on board of the Financial Services Forum.
- She is a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.
- She is also among the board of directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
8.Is press shy
Abigail doesn’t talk to press. The internet doesn’t have many interviews of her. You can find one interview of her which dates back to September 2017 that she gave to Bloomberg TV.
She is a private person.
9.Launched several initiatives
Abigail is involved in launching of many initiatives. Boundless program in partnership with the company’s youth organizations reach out to high schools to educate women and girls aged 14 to 22 regarding careers in financial services.
Recruitment is also done from colleges, smart females who can translate their interpersonal, emotional and tactical skills to do well in the financial industry.
10.Her view on her father’s way of working
In an interview she was asked what it was like to work for her father and she said that she was really grateful for all the years of learning she got from him. He was a strategic thinker and she has tried to be like him by using her capabilities in different places. He was a contrarian and like him even she is not afraid of having a different point of view.
11.She follows ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’
There were a series of sexual harassment incidents in the company and she did not shy away from them, in fact she acted on them in a very purposeful and public way.
She did not hesitate at all to cut a man who was involved in the incident in spite of him being at a high post in Fidelity.
Another employee too had to leave the job as Abigail has a zero tolerance policy and she made it clear to all her employees. She even shifted her office to the 11th floor, the equity division from where the two incidents arose.
Abigail has embraced cryptocurrencies with the launch of ‘Fidelity Digital Assets’ in mid-October 2018. It’s a platform which allows institutional investors to trade bitcoin and ether.
With the launch of this branch which is designed to provide full service and a platform for securing, trading and servicing investments in digital assets fidelity entered the cryptocurrency market. With the introduction of its first socially responsible fund which investigates blockchain and Bitcoin, it has become one of the few financial firms in America which publicly embraced crypto currency.
- She is No 71 among Billionaires 2019
- In 2018 she was ranked as the 5th most powerful woman in the world in contrast to her no 34 position in 2017.
- She was No 28 in Forbes 400 in 2018
- She was ranked 70th among the Powerful People in 2018.
14.Is a strong believer in woman power
In an interview with Forbes, Abigail said that it was harder for women to make their way in any industry even in finance as they are dominated by men.
But she feels that finance is a good industry for women to work in as investment management related to finance was based on a person intellectual capability and their ability to analyze and women are good at it.
She is in favor of having more women power in her industry.
Abigail net worth as on 10th February, 2020 was $16.5 billion with 24.5 % stake of the firm and has around $2.7 trillion in managed assets.