Fidelity Investments on Monday named the head of its Canadian subsidiary to lead its drive to market mutual funds through U.S. banks, brokers, and other go-betweens.

Kevin J. Kelly, 42, was named president and chief executive officer of Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co., a sales unit that houses more than one-fifth of the Boston-based company's $572 billion of assets. The bulk of Fidelity's assets are from direct sales to customers who pick funds without the help of advisers.

Mr. Kelly remains president and CEO of Fidelity Investments Canada Ltd., a position he has held since joining Fidelity in 1995.

He reports to J. Gary Burkhead, vice chairman of Fidelity parent FMR Corp., who had been acting president of the 1,200-employee institutional services unit since last September.

"Kevin's leadership and broad experience in the financial services industry and his success in building our Canadian operation will benefit our growing business through investment professionals in North America," Mr. Burkhead said.

Mr. Kelly, a 21-year veteran of financial services, is credited with helping Fidelity establish itself as a top 10 fund player in Canada. The company set up its Canadian unit in 1987.

"To be able to go to Canada, a market that's importantly controlled by the banks and become a major in a relatively short time is quite an accomplishment," said A. Michael Lipper, president of Lipper Analytical Services, Summit, N.J.

Mr. Kelly will continue to spend one day a week in Toronto, a Fidelity spokesman said. He is moving to Boston and will relocate to Rhode Island in the spring, when the institutional services company moves its headquarters.

The hiring also serves to free up Mr. Burkhead, who is one of the most influential executives at Fidelity, Mr. Lipper said. Indeed, he said, Mr. Burkhead's role as an adviser to FMR chairman Ned Johnson is likely to grow now that Paul Hondros has resigned to become president of Pilgrim Baxter & Associates.

"Gary has great skills, but he probably had too many things reporting to him," Mr. Lipper said.

Mr. Hondros, president of Fidelity's retail sales group since last September, led Fidelity's institutional services company from 1990 to 1996.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.