Fidelity Investments on Tuesday became the latest financial services company to announce a major expansion in the Triangle, pledging to create 600 jobs over the next three years.
The expansion, one of several the Boston-based company has committed to since establishing a presence here in 2002, will bring Fidelity’s total Triangle workforce to more than 4,000 employees.
The new jobs will pay between $100,000 and $125,000 on average, mostly in IT and related fields, well above the Durham County average of $66,599.
When Gov. Pat McCrory announced the salary level at Fidelity’s Durham complex, he remarked, “That’s adult money.”
Fidelity chose the Triangle for the expansion over sites in Florida and Colorado, where the privately held company announced 300 new hires this week in Denver. North Carolina won out because it’s a high-tech hub with a rich pool of talent, said Joan Vinas, a Fidelity senior vice president.
Fidelity’s investment is the most recent example of the financial services sector’s growing presence in the Triangle. Last month, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse announced plans to add 500 positions in Cary and Morrisville. MetLife, which moved into the region in 2013, employs more than 1,000 people in Cary.
Based on estimates from Wake County Economic Development, financial services accounts for nearly 15,000 jobs in the region.
The skills in demand in the sector reflect how technology is reshaping the industry. Companies such as Fidelity are increasingly dependent on technology to deliver their services to smartphones and other digital devices, said Lee Anne Nance, chief operating officer at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and a recruiter of financial services companies.
“We have a concentration of these companies,” she said. “We carry that message to other companies that might be looking to expand.”
Fidelity was also lured to North Carolina by a state incentives package that could be worth more than $16 million if Fidelity meets its hiring quota by the end of 2018 and invests $8 million in its facilities.
Separately, the Durham County Board of Commissioners is set to vote Nov. 9 on its own incentives package. The county proposal calls for giving Fidelity $150,000 as a base award, plus up to $300,000 in $1,500 increments for every Durham County employee Fidelity hires.
“The incentives were important,” Vinas said. “They played a role along with many other factors.”
Ted Conner, vice president of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, said the region is a magnet for many industries seeking initially to tap into the pool of technological talent. But once they establish operations here, such companies often grow beyond their core technological needs.
In Fidelity’s case, about half the company’s Triangle jobs are in customer service and other functions.
“What we’re seeing a lot in the Triangle is a convergence between multiple disciplines: finance, IT, informatics,” Conner said. “That’s what’s making it exciting, this nexus of multiple disciplines.”
Many of Fidelity’s new positions will be filled by experienced engineers and developers with advanced degrees, but some are expected to go to recent college graduates, Vinas said. The positions in software development, design engineering, quality assurance and cybersecurity will largely be filled by local residents, Vinas said, as opposed to recruiting workers from outside the state.
“These are obviously excellent jobs,” said Wendy Jacobs, a Durham County commissioner.
Fidelity’s functions here also include customer service and human resource services for large corporate customers, helping manage their 401(k) plans and other benefits.
Vinas said Fidelity would start hiring immediately.
Year founded: 1946
President & CEO: Abby Johnson
Assets under administration: $5 trillion
Global employees: 42,000
N.C. employees: 3,600