Fidelity Investments is realigning its system for selling through banks, brokerages, and insurance companies, in response to mergers that are bringing those industries together.
The new approach will give the Boston-based mutual fund company the ability to have a single relationship with companies that have merged or are merging across industry boundaries. Such companies include Travelers Group and Citicorp and Fleet Financial Group and Quick & Reilly.
Until now Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co., a unit that handles sales through financial intermediaries, has marketed the company's products and services through individual banks, brokerages, and insurance companies.
"The catalyst was the rapid transformation going on in the financial services industry," said Jeffrey Cathie, a Fidelity spokesman. "This will better align FIIS with how its clients and potential clients are doing business right now."
Louis Harvey, president of Dalbar Inc., a Boston-based consulting company, said if the merged institutions Fidelity is targeting keep their different businesses highly autonomous, a centralized relationship could backfire.
But Mr. Cathie said FIIS' approach will be "integrated and flexible" and structured to avoid such problems. The unit has $145 billion of assets under management, nearly one-quarter of Fidelity's total assets.