Unearthed Ken Fisher Tweets Add To Controversy Around Billionaire's Offensive Comments
Billionaire money manager Ken Fisher ignited a firestorm after making offensive comments at a conference earlier this month, costing his firm more than $1.7 billion in client assets. A review of his Twitter feed reveals other instances of similar behavior.
On June 18, for instance, Fisher responded to a tweet saying that employees never leave a company for monetary reasons alone. "That is the general theory," he wrote in a tweet saved by Forbes. "But, if you have sex with them they either leave a lot faster or a lot slower; all depends. Risky business. LOL."
Fisher deleted the tweet late last week, presumably as part of an effort to contain the public relations blowback against his firm, Fisher Investments. The company is also working with a consultant, Tony Freinberg, whose website details an expertise in crisis management. Furthermore, Fisher Investments' CEO, Damian Ornani, disavowed Fisher's remarks in an email to staff.
In a separate tweet posted in 2018, Fisher called Abraham Lincoln his least favorite U.S. president. Citing the economist Douglas C. North, he seemed to lament that slavery ended after the Civil War, rather than several decades later.
"Douglas C. North proved slavery was profitable at the time of the war. Wait 30 years and technology would have rendered it profitless and slavery would have fallen peacefully," he wrote. "And had it African Americans and everyone today would be hugely better off."
That comment set off a separate firestorm on Twitter. "Of course slavery was profitable," wrote one user. "Why would that change? Even if that were true, and we knew it, why leave millions enslaved for another 30 years? What is wrong with you?"
S. Max Edelson, a professor at the University of Virginia who studies slavery and plantation societies, also dismisses Fisher's argument. "Most historians agree that slavery was becoming more and more entangled" in the American economy, he says. "This is a fantasy."
When contacted about the tweet by Forbes, Fisher issued a statement through a spokesperson. "Read in their entirety, it is clear that these tweets were simply an exploration of an historical argument put forward by a Nobel Prize-winning academic."
The controversy at Fisher Investments dates back to October 8, when Ken Fisher spoke on stage at the Tiburon CEO Summit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco. He compared gaining a client's trust to "trying to get into a girl's pants," and also made reference to genitalia, Jeffrey Epstein and tripping on acid.
Fisher initially downplayed his remarks, telling Bloomberg on October 9, "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... Mostly the audience understands what I am saying."
But following increased scrutiny, Fisher released an apology. "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."
On October 10, the Michigan Department of Treasury's Bureau of Investments ended its relationship with Fisher Investments, which managed about $600 million for the state's pension funds.
Retirement systems from Philadelphia, Boston and Iowa soon followed suit, pushing Fisher's total losses to more than $1.2 billion in assets. Then, on Monday October 21, Fidelity said it would pull roughly $500 million. Other clients, including Goldman Sachs and pension funds from Florida and Los Angeles, have said they are reviewing their relationships with Fisher Investments.
At the end of last year Fisher Investments managed $94 billion, about one-third of which it held with institutional clients.Antoine Gara contributed reporting.
Ken Fisher of Fisher Investments made a series of sexist remarks at the Tiburon conference in San Francisco on October 8 and now says he doesn't understand why people are upset. The event was being
More News in Business
### Look out, California! PG&E is monitoring "strong and dry" winds developing off the coast of California again, and they're preparing to shut down power to several counties if those winds land onshore and cause
After debuting its jet-black "Halloween Whopper" and green-tinted "Nightmare King" burger over the last few years, Burger King is finally ready to make a sandwich with pasty white buns. The fast-food chain announced on Monday
Today's big question for investors is, "what's going on with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) stock? Its price is nose-diving -14.54 points, trading at $329.46 levels, and is down -4.23% from its previous close of $344.
The hegemony of Google Cloud (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) AWS continues, and the health of these names will inform us on how the other cloud names will
Silver Lake Advisory LLC boosted its position in Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) by 54.8% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional
(Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire) Baffled customers now have an explanation as to why the Burger King in the Intu centre mysteriously closed. At the weekend, all signs belonging to the fast-food giant were