After Ken Fisher made crude, offensive remarks at the Tiburon CEO Summit on Tuesday, event organizers said Thursday that the investment advisor will not be allowed to attend future events.
“On Wednesday morning 7:45 a.m. [PT], before the start of the second day of Tiburon CEO Summit XXXVII, I took the stage and announced that the speaker who made these remarks will not ever be invited back to a Tiburon CEO Summit,” said Tiburon Managing Partner Chip Roame.
Meanwhile, Fisher shared a brief apology on Thursday: “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.”
Roame defended the timing of his public statements, which came a full day after advisor Alex Chalekian posted a video on Twitter criticizing Fisher’s talk as “a true debacle. It was horrible. Things that were said by Ken Fisher were just absolutely horrifying.”
“We all choose our ways to deal with bad behavior,” according to Roame. “The recent situation that arose at Tiburon has been dealt with firmly. I believe that I clearly repudiated the comments and apologized to all the attendees. I further barred the speaker from ever attending again.”
Still, Roame notably left Ken Fisher’s name out of his lengthy public remarks: “I am not naming names today because this issue is not about one person; this is an industry issue. I hope to share a learning opportunity with industry participants, not deliberately harm one’s business.”
Fisher is the founder and chair of Fisher Investments, which has about $114 billion in client assets. Chalekian is the head of Lake Avenue Financial and practice acquisitions for RIA Integrated Partners, which manages about $6 billion.
Responding to the statement on Twitter, Chalekian said: “I want to commend Chip Roame and the @TiburonAdvisors team for these comments. Change is coming.”
A day earlier, Chalekian said on Twitter: “I won’t speak or attend any conference if he’s speaking there. He should be banned from talking at any event. I hope others follow me in this decision.”
Fisher Initially Brushed Off Reaction to Comments
On Wednesday, Fisher — who is also being called out for offensive comments he made at a June 2018 event — first seemed to double down on his view on that his remarks aren’t worth all the attention.
“I have given a lot of talks, a lot of times, in a lot of places and said stuff like this and never gotten that type of response,” he told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “Mostly the audience understands what I am saying.”
He added in the interview: “I regret I accepted that speech invitation because it was kind of a pain in the neck. I wonder if anybody will be candid at one of these Tiburon events again.”
According to Chalekian, Fisher referred to “genitalia, picking up a on girl … and [made] other inappropriate comments at the conference.”
Rachel Robasciotti, a founder of wealth manager Robasciotti & Philipson who was at the event, told Bloomberg that Fisher — when describing how he built his firm — compared winning a client’s trust to “trying to get into a girl’s pants.”
Earlier in the day, Fisher said via a statement to the media: “While I said most of the words [Chalekian] cited, he wasn’t hearing the context of what I was communicating and seems to have misconstrued its essence — certainly misconstrued my intended meaning.”
“The rest is just nonsense. … To the extent he or others in that large crowd were offended, I apologize most sincerely,” Fisher added.
More From Roame
Roame, avoiding Fisher’s name, acknowledged that “some offensive comments were made by one fireside chat participant” on Tuesday. However, he added, “There remain disagreements as to exactly what was said, how it was intended, and how it was interpreted.”
Roame continued, “I was on stage and have my own understanding of the situation which I have discussed with many long-time Tiburon members. I further reached out specifically to several additional female Tiburon members who were present when the comments were made to solicit their views. … They helped me to act, and act firmly. Some though told me they thought this deserved no response. I respectfully disagree.”
Roame added that offensive comments “further the inclusion problem in the wealth and investment management industry. And on a related note, I am disgusted to be included in phrases referring to old boys clubs. Tiburon is the opposite.”
Roame says he has “worked tirelessly to try to find women speakers and encourage women attendees at the Tiburon CEO Summits.”
“Given that we target CEO attendees, finding title-qualified women (and minorities by the way) is a tremendous challenge in the wealth and investment management industry,” he added.
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