These Comments Cost Ken Fisher’s Fund a $600 Million Investment

October 14, 2019, 5:52 PM UTC

There may not be many consequences for powerful billionaires. But this time, offensive remarks are costing one finance boss a pretty penny.

Comments made at a summit lost Ken Fisher’s fund a $600 million investment from the state of Michigan last week after the fund’s founder and chairman made sexist comments.

The state pulled an investment from its pension fund from wealth management company Fisher Investments after Fisher likened winning over clients to “trying to get into a girl’s pants” at the Tiburon CEO Summit in San Fransisco. Fisher also made remarks about genitalia and Jeffery Epstein, according to reports and leaked audio.

The comments at the private event were brought to public attention after an attendee, Alex Chalekian, who runs Lake Avenue Financial, posted a video on Twitter declaring the “horrible” comments a “true debacle.”

Following immediate backlash, Jon Braeutigam, Michigan’s chief investment officer, terminated the $70 billion state pension account’s 15-year relationship with Fisher’s fund. He communicated the severing of ties in a letter to the board of the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Investments (BOI) on October 10th. In the letter, first obtained by CNBC, Braeutigam denounced the comments as “completely unacceptable.”

“There is no excuse to not treat everyone with dignity and respect,” he reportedly wrote. “We have high expectations of our managers (and staff), not just with regards to returns but also in how they exhibit integrity and respect to all individuals.”

Fisher’s $112 billion fund was responsible for managing $600 million of the State of Michigan Retirement Systems funds, and had successfully beaten the S&P 1500, according to Braeutigam’s letter.

In a statement sent to Fortune, Fisher said: “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.”

Last week wasn’t the first time the founder made comments others found inappropriate. According to audio obtained by Bloomberg of a talk last year, Fisher had previously said “the most stupid thing” an asset manager can do is to “brag about performance in a direct mail piece,” which is “a little bit like walking into a bar and you are a single guy and want to get laid and walking up to some girl and saying: ‘Hey you want to have sex?’ You just turn yourself into a jerk.”

While Fisher apologized for his most recent comments, he also told Bloomberg that “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.”

The founder admitted to employees that the company hasn’t “done an adequate job communicating [its] values internally and externally,” and a course of action is being prepared, according to the firm’s internal documents obtained by Fortune.

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