A week ago Ken Fisher, the CEO of Fisher Investments, made comments during a summit in San Francisco in which he compared fundraising to trying to pick up a woman at a bar for sex. And now as a result the state of Michigan is taking back $600 million it gave to Fisher Investments for the purpose of growing its pension fund. To put that in perspective, the Michigan Department of Treasury oversees nearly $70 billion in their pensions systems assets.
In a letter obtained by CNBC, Michigan Chief Investment Officer Jon Braeutigam relayed that Fisher Investments was relieved of their duties because of Fisher's "completely unacceptable comments."
Fisher had originally been defiant when the backlash first emerged, instead claiming that the comments were not properly contextualized, while also adding that he'd "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."
CNBC included an example of just what exactly he meant by that, revealing that he stated at a conference last year that he wished he'd had more sex when he was younger because "once you get older, you know you’re like a Christmas tree, you know you’re, you’re firm once a year and the balls are just for decoration."
He later apologized for his most recent remarks.
“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,” Fisher said. “I realize this kind of language has no place in our company or industry. I sincerely apologize.”
The line that got him in trouble came when he intimated that you need to be careful when trying to woo new clients. "Money, sex, those are the two most private things for most people," he reportedly stated. "It’s like going up to a girl in a bar… going up to a woman in a bar and saying, hey I want to talk about what’s in your pants."
In his letter, Braeutigam says that Fisher Investments was let go after news reports of the remarks came out.
"...All 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."