Fisher Investments loses $3B in institutional assets after CEO makes sexist & derogatory comments at CEO Summit

At the Tiburon CEO Summit in October 2019, Ken Fisher made several sexist and inappropriate remarks. Multiple CEOs later spoke out about his remarks, breaking the Summit's privacy policies that have allowed for CEOs to have candid and honest conversations about challenges facing businesses. Following Ken Fisher's comments, institutional investors, primarily pension funds, and some individuals have pulled approx. $3B from Fisher Investments and he has been banned from future Tiburon CEO summits.

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7 November 2019

Individual investors pulled $20 million from Fisher Investments following billionaire’s sexist comments

Author: Darla Mercado, CNBC

Individual investors at Fisher Investments transferred $20 million from the firm the week after the billionaire made lewd comments at a conference... Thus far, more than $3 billion in institutional assets have left the... firm... However, individual clients so far have held fast... Private and retail clients have been “largely unconcerned,” said Jill Hitchcock, senior executive vice president — private client group at Fisher, in the Mercer note. Approximately 1% of those clients contacted raised concerns, with about $20 million in lost assets as a result... “To date, less than one percent of our private/retail clients have contacted us in relation to this matter,” said John Dillard, senior vice president and director of global public relations at Fisher.

... [T]he firm published a full-page advertisement in The New York Times, touting the number of women working at the advisory firm. “Over 800 women strong, with women leading 63% of employees,” the ad said. The firm also started a website featuring testimonials from women who work there... Fisher’s pension clients surprised many industry observers with their rapid move to divest, as retirement plan fiduciaries must show they underwent a prudent process before hiring or firing managers.

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18 October 2019

Billionaire money manager Ken Fisher made provocative, sexist comments and lost $1 billion in investments

Author: Jack Kelly, Forbes

[Ken] Fisher, when interviewed at the Tiburon CEO Summit conference in San Francisco, made sexist, lewd and inappropriate comments...[including] discussing genitalia and saying that winning clients was like "trying to get into a girls pants." There was a swift backlash and investors are pulling out about $1 billion from Fisher’s firm... Fisher has been banned from future Tiburon CEO Summits...Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city would sever its relationship with Fisher Investments, taking out $248 million of pension assets because of his "profound lack of judgement." Walsh added, "Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities.''... Fisher apologized for his remarks by saying, "Some of the words and phrases I used during a recent conference to make certain points were clearly wrong and I shouldn't have made them.” "I realize this kind of language has no place in our company or industry. I sincerely apologize."

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15 October 2019

CEOs speak out against billionaire’s derogatory comments at secretive conference

Author: Katherine Lewin, DiversityInc

The Tiburon CEO Summit is one of the most prestigious conferences like it for wealth management CEOs. It’s also very secretive — the summit has a privacy policy that is meant to keep information that speakers say from going public. But at least three CEOs who paid the $25,000 to attend broke the rules of the summit in order to call out billionaire Ken Fisher for derogatory comments about women made during a speaker panel... “I chose to speak out because maintaining a culture of silence around harassment and assault protects those who abuse their power, which then further marginalizes underrepresented groups,” Sonya Dreizler, a speaker and consultant to financial services firms...Rachel Robasciotti, founder and CEO of wealth management firm Robasciotti and Philipson [said] "...If we want things to be different, we have to be different. And that means not condoning that kind of behavior.”

... Chip Roame, managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, moderated the discussion with Fisher but did not stop Fisher from making the crude comments, and only apologized after everything went public. “These comments lacked the dignity & respect that should be expected by any Tiburon CEO Summit speaker or attendee,” Roame told the Post. “These were unacceptable words at Tiburon, in the wealth & investments industry, and in society generally.”

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