The state of Michigan has pulled its $600 million pension fund from wealth management firm Fisher Investments after the company’s founder and chairman made crude and sexually explicit comments during a fireside chat at the Tiburon CEO Summit in San Francisco this week.
In a letter Thursday, Michigan Chief Investment Officer Jon Braeutigam informed the state’s investment board that its bureau of investments, housed under the state Treasury Department, had terminated its relationship with Fisher Investments of Camas because of CEO Ken Fisher’s “completely unacceptable comments.”
During a moderated keynote discussion Tuesday with Chip Roame, managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, Fisher compared his wealth management strategy to picking up women for sex, according to summit attendees who recounted what they heard in interviews with The Washington Post. Fisher spoke of doing acid and his belief that charities are immoral. He also made crude comments about genitalia, attendees said, and mentioned financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted on federal sex-trafficking charges earlier this year before dying by suicide in prison.
Despite a Tiburon policy that requires summit attendees to keep private what they hear and discuss there, three CEOs publicly shared their accounts of what Fisher said in the interest of exposing his behavior and holding the self-proclaimed “self-made multibillionaire” accountable.
Alex Chalekian, founder and chief executive of Lake Avenue Financial in Pasadena, California, came forward first, posting a video to Twitter hours after Fisher’s remarks. Chalekian called the fireside chat a “true debacle” and said Fisher’s words were “absolutely horrifying.” Rachel Robasciotti, founder and chief executive of wealth management firm Robasciotti and Philipson in San Francisco, and Sonya Dreizler, a speaker and consultant to financial services firms, publicly confirmed Chalekian’s account online and in media reports.