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The collaborative culture at Fidelity encourages employees to brainstorm initiatives to improve financial literacy.Provided

Within months of joining Fidelity Canada, Rudie Shahinian was handed a major project that paired personal passion and professional development.

Shahinian, Fidelity’s director of software product, was on the team that developed Investly, Fidelity’s mobile investing app, which launched to the public in November 2023. Investly was built specifically to take the fear out of investing for people who are new to it by making the app simple, streamlined and packed with educational resources.

For Shahinian and his team, the app’s public service mission presented challenges with making legacy systems and documents – such as complex investing information and legal forms – clear and understandable for a general audience.

“It was challenging but very rewarding,” says Shahinian. “It’s been a really cool experience being part of this team, getting to work with the smartest and most passionate people and making complicated topics easier for people to understand.”

Fidelity has been putting a focus on helping Canadians improve their financial literacy, says Diana Godfrey, senior vice-president of human resources and corporate affairs. It’s something that has resonated with employees.

In 2022, a group of Fidelity employees started brainstorming how to educate high school students about investing concepts. The group decided on a video series, called Money Gains, that explains topics like savings and investing, how the stock market works, bond returns and different types of securities in ways that are simplified and accessible to a younger audience. Godfrey is the executive sponsor of the Money Gains series.

Employees across the company, including Fidelity’s university co-op students, were asked to participate in the series, and Godfrey says they had plenty of fun with it.

“It was a great opportunity to use students to deliver these messages to young people, so it’s relatable and they could help us with the language and delivering the content in a way that our target audience will listen to,” she says. Fidelity has shared the videos with school boards and the Ontario government and on social media.

Godfrey says initiatives like Money Gains are an added benefit for Fidelity. “If we want a diverse work force, we need diverse candidates. We need to get to them earlier, before they hit university and have already chosen their programs,” she says. “We’re showing a different group of people before they’ve made their decisions that there are options in the investment and financial services industry.”

This also speaks to the collaborative nature of Fidelity’s workplace culture. “Many people are involved in making decisions because we see the value in diverse thought and inclusion in decision-making,” says Godfrey.

Shahinian saw this collaborative culture first-hand over the past year and a half working on Investly. Building the app involved working with other teams in the organization to draw on their expertise, and he says everyone was willing not just to pitch in, but also to take the time to explain details and help him build on his own skills.

“People go above and beyond. It would be very easy for someone just to send an e-mail and say ‘this is how you do it,’ but instead they explain and put me in touch with people to help me further,” he says. “Multiply that by all the other teams in Fidelity and you get this huge support system.”

Shahinian says Fidelity has been his first experience working within a large organization, and he wasn’t sure what to expect when he arrived. “The thing that blew me away was how friendly everyone is, and willing to bend over backward to help me,” he says. “The culture of facilitating people like that is pretty amazing.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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