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Johnson still Fidelity successor?
Report says Fidelity Investments director may have trimmed her holdings in a dispute with father.
October 28, 2005: 8:03 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Fidelity Investments director Abigail Johnson has trimmed her holdings in the company, casting doubt over whether she is still the heir apparent, according to a news report published Friday.

Citing a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Johnson, once the firm's largest shareholder, sold a "significant" portion of her stake to family trusts, according to the company.

The SEC filing did not reveal how much stock Johnson, 43, had sold, having owned as much as 24.5 percent of the company's shares, according to the newspaper. The Johnson family controls 49 percent of the firm's shares.

Individuals close to Fidelity told the newspaper that the sale arose due to a disagreement between Johnson and her father, Edward C. Johnson III, who founded the firm and continues to remain active in the organization. Abigail Johnson declined to be interviewed by the newspaper.

The news comes just months after Johnson was transferred from her role as president of Fidelity's core money-management unit to president of Fidelity Employer Services Co., which handles administrative duties for corporate retirement and benefit plans, according to the Journal.

The sale, in addition to the position change that took place in May, has raised questions whether Johnson will take over the company one day after appearing to be groomed for so long, the newspaper reported.

"The timing of it is enough to raise my eyebrows a little bit," Christopher Traulsen, a senior analyst at Morningstar Inc., a fund research firm, told the newspaper. "If she is indeed ceding voting stock in a major way, it seems to be at odds with the idea of becoming CEO one day."

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