Billionaire Ken Fishers Firm Loses Nearly $1 Billion After Crass RemarksAnd Much More Is On The Line

 forbes.com  10/17/2019 16:12:42 
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Ken Fisher at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in 2010.

Gillianne Tedder/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Billionaire Ken Fishers money management firm has been fired by three clients, representing over $900 million in client assets, since the CEOs crass remarks at an exclusive industry conference on October 8.

The City of Bostons retirement board is the latest to say it is ending its relationship with Fisher Investments after a unanimous vote on Wednesday resulted in Fisher losing the $253 million it managed for the citys pension fund. 

Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities, a spokesperson for the City of Boston told Reuters ahead of the decision to pull the money. Reports of Ken Fishers comments and poor judgment are incredibly disturbing, and I have asked our retirement board to take a vote to end any relationship with Fisher Investments.

The $75 billion in assets State of Michigan Retirement Systems was the first to drop Fisher following his offensive remarks, which compared gaining client trust to trying to get into a girls pants.

Michigans chief investment officer issued a statement on Thursday, October 10, saying the state was terminating its relationship with Fisher Investments. The firm, which ended last year with $94 billion in assets, managed about $600 million for Michigans pension fund.

Fisher Investments shed another $50 million soon after, when Philadelphias pension board said the same day that it was also withdrawing its assets from the firm.

Fisher issued a statement last Thursday. Some of the words and phrases I used during a recent conference to make certain points were clearly wrong and I shouldnt have made them, he said. I realize this kind of language has no place in our company or industry. I sincerely apologize.

Several other clients, representing more than $1 billion in additional assets managed by Fisher Investments, have since condemned Fisher's comments and said theyre reviewing their relationships with the firm.

Among those is Fidelity Investments. The firm said Tuesday its conducting a review of its relationship with Fisher, which is a subadvisor managing approximately $500 million within Fidelitys Strategic Advisers Small-Mid Cap Fund.

We are very concerned about the highly inappropriate comments by Kenneth Fisher, said Fidelity spokesperson Vincent Loporchio in an emailed statement on Tuesday. We do not tolerate these types of comments at our company.

The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System and Floridas pension system, which hold about $500 million and $175 million in assets with Fisher, respectively, have also responded similarly.

A spokesman for Fisher Investments did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

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