Fidelity Investments says that 55 "breakaway brokers," bringing more than $7 billion of assets, have chosen the Boston fund company during the year's first half to be custodian for their newly established independent registered investment advisory firms, more than doubling the assets gained from this source throughout 2007.

Fidelity research that was released Monday says breakaway clients cite several keys for their choice of Fidelity, including the company's experience working with other breakaway firms to help guide them through the transition, the coming introduction of the Fidelity WealthCentral brokerage workstation, and the recently launched HybridOne workstation for registered advisers.

Fidelity WealthCentral is designed as an online wealth management platform and is expected to be introduced this year to integrate advisers' operational functions on a single platform.

HybridOne, which got its start in September, is meant to give dually registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisory firms, as well as individual brokers and advisers, a way to manage both commission- and fee-based businesses.

Fidelity had $3.2 trillion of assets under custody and $1.5 trillion under management at Aug. 31.

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