Fidelity continued aggressively hiring staff in the first quarter this year even as its new account openings slowed, according to news reports.

The firm saw 1.5 million new retail accounts open in the first quarter this year, which was 54% lower year-over-year, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes.

Nonetheless, Fidelity hired 5,100 new staff in the first quarter, including many in client-facing positions, the company disclosed on Wednesday, according to the publication.

That follows 23,800 new hires Fidelity made in 2020 and 2021 — around 80% of whom went into customer-facing roles, Ignites writes, citing a Fidelity spokesperson, who declined to say how many of the first-quarter hires were in such roles.

Scott Smith, a director of advice relationships at Cerulli Associates, believes the first-quarter hires are aimed at meeting current as well as projected demand, according to the publication.

And Fidelity believes it can address a variety of clients’ needs.

Speaking of the first three months of 2021, when investors spurred on by Reddit jumped into the market and Fidelity opened 3.3 million new retail accounts, Fidelity’s spokesperson attributed the growth to “stable infrastructures that were able to support an influx of new customers and had the capability and capacity for them to easily reach a professional during times of market volatility,” according to Ignites.

Fidelity ended March with $11.3 trillion in assets under administration, which was 9% higher year-over-year, according to the publication.

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