ETF News

UPDATE 1-Fidelity markets arm adding jobs as rivals shrink

* Fidelity Capital Markets to add 80 jobs, up a 20 pct

* Eyes expansion in trading, prime brokerage, munis

* IPO distribution pact with JPMorgan discontinued

NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The capital markets arm of mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments plans to expand its ranks of traders, sales and other staff by 20 percent this year even as Wall Street rivals slash jobs, a top executive told Reuters on Wednesday.

A protracted credit crisis has hammered the biggest brokerages and prompted tens of thousands of layoffs. That creates an opportunity for Fidelity to build out such businesses as stock trading, prime brokerage for hedge funds and municipal bonds, unit President Mark Haggerty said in an interview.

“The industry in general is in contraction, whether through layoffs or getting out of businesses. We’re in a different spot,” Haggerty said.

Last year closely held Fidelity’s capital markets arm expanded by 25 percent to about 400 people and Haggerty wants to add another 80 jobs this year across various businesses.

“Our business model is something people are attracted to these days because we are private, because we are conservative, plus the fact you’ve got the other banks having to take money from the government,” he said. “They look at us and see us as being different than the standard investment bank or brokerage firm they’ve been dealing with.” (Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Additional reporting by Elinor Comlay, Richard Chang)