Fidelity Investments has formed a unit to develop a defined contribution business in Japan.

Fidelity Group Pensions-Japan is run by a veteran in Fidelity's 401(k) plan business, Raymond J. Marcinowski.

Boston-based Fidelity said it set up the operation this month because it wants to be ready to capture retirement assets if proposals to create a defined contribution system in Japan come to fruition.

Fidelity manages nearly $2.5 billion of defined benefit plan assets for more than 40 Japanese companies. It also caters to individual Japanese investors through brokers, banks, and direct sales.

Before heading the new group, Mr. Marcinowski was president of Fidelity Investment Advisor Group, which serves registered investment advisers and third-party administrators.

He has spent most of his Fidelity career in the 401(k) business.

Fidelity started its international group pensions business in 1995.

The company is the top provider of 401(k) plans in the United States, with $158 billion of assets at Sept. 30. Overall, it manages $677 billion of assets.

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