Fisher Investments had close to $4 billion pulled out by pension funds and other entities in the wake of its founder’s allegedly crude remarks at a conference in October — but the firm actually experienced net inflows to the tune of billions of dollars during the past several weeks, according to news reports.
Following Ken Fisher’s comments at the Tiburon CEO Summit in early October — which included references to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and drug use and comparing luring clients to “trying to get into a girl’s pants” — several pension funds, starting with the Bureau of Investments of Michigan’s Department of Treasury, as well as Fidelity Investments and Goldman Sachs, quickly severed their relationship with Fisher Investments.
But the firm’s assets in fact grew in the wake of the comments, from around $110 billion on Oct. 8, when Alex Chalekian, the founder and CEO of Lake Avenue Financial, posted a video on Twitter describing Fisher’s comments as “horrifying” and “inappropriate," to around $115 billion by the end of October, the Financial Times writes.
And that was “equal parts net inflows of new client assets and rising market value of assets,” John Dillard, senior vice-president at Fisher, told the FT last week.
In the past several weeks, Fisher Investments had $3 billion in net inflows from “institutional investors, private clients and 401(k) [retirement savings] plan sponsors,” Dillard told the paper.
“The firm is on track to have increased assets under management at the end of November,” Dillard said.
Dillard also said that Fisher’s remarks were mischaracterized, according to the paper.
“At the investment conference, Mr. Fisher compared the sales approach of some asset managers to a lewd and inappropriate proposition to ‘get in a woman’s pants’ in a bar. He has since apologized for his choice of words,” Dillard told the FT.