It's too bad that when Ken Fisher made lewd jokes at a recent financial conference, he didn't make any about "pulling out".
Because that's exactly what the $70 billion state of Michigan retirement pension account is doing from his fund, according to a new article from Bloomberg. The pension account has reportedly ended its relationship with Fisher's fund after the manager's inappropriate remarks at a recent financial conference.
Fisher managed $600 million in retirement funds for Michigan and the state's exit ends a 15 year relationship with Fisher's firm.
Michigan’s chief investment officer, Jon Braeutigam, notified the state investment board of the termination on October 10. In his letter, he said that Fisher's comments were "unacceptable" and that although employees at his fund hadn't witnessed similar comments, “history does not outweigh the inappropriateness of the comments.”
Braeutigam continued: “There is no excuse not to 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.”
In his letter, he said the decision to terminate the relationship was "unanimous".
And the blowback may not be over: it was just days ago that we reported that other clients of Fisher's were "reevaluating" their relationship with the firm after the manager's sex jokes at a financial conference.
Shawna Lode, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, had said late last week: "Fisher’s remarks are obviously concerning. Although our investment management contracts do not include a conduct policy, we hold our partners to the highest standards and reserve the right to amend or sever any contract at our discretion.”
Maxwell Rule, chief financial officer of Hames, a company who has their 401(k) managed by Fisher, said last week: “It certainly taints their reputation. I wouldn’t comment at this point whether this would lead us to take our business elsewhere, but I will certainly have a conversation with the ownership regarding that. As a fiduciary I have an obligation to have that conversation."
About a week ago we reported that at a conference in San Francisco, Fisher - whose firm manages more than $100 billion - shocked attendees when he compared gaining a client's trust to "trying to get into a girl's pants." Fisher also said at the same conference that executives who were "not comfortable talking about genitalia should not be in the financial industry."