Michigan Pulls $600 Million From Ken Fisher After Lewd Remarks

I wanted to post this article about Ken Fisher because I know first hand how aggressively he markets his company to retired investors. I’m not one to ever try to disparage my competition in any way. But I think everyone should know the true nature of this organization that is constantly running ads on TV, sending literature in the mail, and telemarketing to people at their homes. In Fisher’s commercials he often talks about how important it is that you work with an advisor who is a fiduciary, meaning they act in the best interest of the client at all times. Based on Ken’s comments, it doesn’t seem that be really thinks like a fiduciary should think about his clients and potential customers.

As a side note, Fisher Investments tried to recruit me to go work for them years ago while I was still at Fidelity Investments. I didn’t like their pushy and aggressive sales culture at that time, and I still don’t like it today. I’m sure glad I didn’t go in that direction!

The information in this post came from Lisa Shidler with www.riabiz.com and from James Langford with www.foxbusiness.com

Billionaire Ken Fisher’s wealth management firm lost the state of Michigan as a client on Thursday following Fisher’s sexually-charged speech at the Tiburon CEO Summit in San Francisco last week.

Michigan Chief Investment Officer Jon Braeutigam wrote a letter to the state’s investment board announcing the decision to withdraw $600 million of the state’s pension fund from Fisher Investments.

“[A]ll were in unanimous agreement that prompt termination is the correct course of action,” he wrote. “There is no excuse to not treat everyone with dignity and respect. 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.”

Braeutigam characterized Fisher’s remarks as “completely unacceptable comments” and said Michigan was cutting ties even though Fisher Investments’ “performance has been good (beating the S&P 1500).”

“In our opinion, this history does not out-weigh the inappropriateness of the comments made by the founder,” Braeutigam wrote.

An in-house investment team will manage the money now.

The State of Michigan Retirement Systems has more than $70 billion in assets, a spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.

Forbes estimates Fisher’s net worth at $3.8 billion. He was at first mystified by criticism of his comments, including comparing gaining a clients’ trust with “trying to get into a girl’s pants.”

Alex Chalekian, the founder and CEO of advisory firm Lake Avenue Financial, attended the Tiburon conference and was the first person to go public with Fisher’s remarks.

Disgusted

In short, what happens at Tiburon CEO Summits is supposed to stay there.

Chalekian expressed reticence about posting his comments in light of such warnings. But said he felt compelled to do so. See: The 10 takeaways Chip Roame imparted at his Tiburon CEO Summit in NYC and other items I gleaned by gumshoe reporting

In his video tweet, Chalekian called Fisher’s fireside chat a “debacle.”

“It was horrible. Things that were said by Ken Fisher were just absolutely horrifying. He made comments about female genitalia, talked about picking up on a girl, and don’t show them what’s in your pants…”

Fisher also talked about the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, call charities “immoral,” mentioned tripping on acid [LSD], “and other inappropriate comments,” he said. 

Chalekian said he talked to men and women at the conference, and “they were disgusted by this.” 

“Many of the women expressed to me this is one of the reasons why they don’t like coming to these conferences. It makes them feel very uncomfortable.”

But the real kicker to his comments came when he acknowledged that attendees were “not supposed to talk about these things.”

“Especially the way the summit is set up, it’s meant to allow many of these icons in the industry to be comfortable and talk amongst their peers. But I just had to open up and mention how disgusted I am. 

“Come to find out, talking to others at the conference, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ken Fisher is actually known for making these types of comments in, around the workplace with his employees… Things that have just blown my mind. 

“When I was listening to all this stuff, I didn’t know if this was a joke or what was going on. I was a deer in headlights, my jaw just dropped. We need to change this and change it now.”

Chalekian also tweeted: “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.”

He also added: “I don’t understand why I’m the first to speak out.”

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