An Iowa pension fund is joining other organizations and pulling its assets out of Fisher Investments roughly a week after Chairman Ken Fisher made lewd remarks at an industry event.
With the move by Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System to divest $386 million and a similar step by Air Products & Chemical, the total redemptions from Fisher Investments have topped $1.3 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.
“It is our opinion that Mr. Fisher’s comments have damaged the credibility of the firm and its leadership,” the Iowa pension said in a statement shared with Bloomberg. “As a result, the risk to IPERS is that the firm could lose investment talent, and/or it may be unable to recruit high caliber talent in the future.”
Earlier in the week, the Boston Pension Board redeemed $248 million from Fisher Investments, following a move by Michigan’s pension fund to pull $600 million.
The firm, founded by Fisher in 1979, manages about $114 billion in assets as of September, according to a recent interview with its chairman. Its latest regulatory filing from May lists assets of $94 billion.
Fidelity Investments announced several days ago that it does not tolerate “these types of comments … and Fidelity Strategic Advisers is reviewing this relationship,” Bloomberg reported. Fidelity Strategic Advisers oversees managed accounts and lists Fisher as a $500 million subadvisor for its $8 billion Small-Mid Cap Fund.
Fisher made the crude comments while speaking at a fireside chat at the Tiburon CEO Summit on Oct. 8. The following day attendee and advisor Alex Chalekian posted a video on Twitter criticizing the remarks; it has more than 150,000 views.
Afterward, Fisher questioned the negative attention his comments were receiving, before apologizing. He has been barred from future events organized by Tiburon Strategic Advisors.
One woman present at Fisher’s talk is speaking out about what she says is the “unchecked bad behavior [that] runs rampant at many financial services conferences.”
Sonya Dreizler, a certified financial planner and head of the consultancy Solutions with Sonya, has started sharing “real stories of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination” in the industry in a series of blog posts that she hopes will inspire further discussion and change that supports women.
— Check out Debate Rages On as Ken Fisher’s Son Defends His Lewd Remarks on ThinkAdvisor.