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Billionaire Ken Fisher's sexist comments have cost him almost $1 billion

  • The city of Boston is pulling $248 million in pension assets from Fisher Investments following billionaire Ken Fisher's sexist remarks at a conference this month.
  • "Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities," Boston mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.
  • The decision comes after Michigan and Philadelphia also voted to take their assets from the firm. 

Ken Fisher's sexist comments have now cost his investment firm about $1 billion in lost assets under management. The city of Boston is the latest to pull its pension assets from Fisher Investments following his Oct. 8 comments that compared signing a new client to "getting into a girl's pants."

"Boston will not invest in companies led by people who treat women like commodities," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement emailed to CBS MoneyWatch. "Reports of Ken Fisher's comments and poor judgement are incredibly disturbing, and I have asked our Retirement Board to take a vote to end any relationship with Fisher Investments."

The Boston pension board on Wednesday voted in favor of withdrawing the $248 million it had invested with Fisher Investments. That follows Michigan's decision to take back $600 million it had invested with Fisher and the city of Philadelphia's withdrawal of $54 million from his firm. 

To be sure, $1 billion in assets is a fraction of Fisher Investment's $112 billion in overall assets under management, but at least two other clients with a combined $1 billion at Fisher Investments are reviewing their ties to the firm following the comments. They include money management giant Fidelity Investments, which has about $500 million at Fisher Investments, and the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension board, with about $511 million, according to Reuters.

Firms like Fisher's charge investors a fee on the total assets being managed. A management fee of 1%, for instance, would mean his firm could be facing an annual revenue loss of $10 million to $20 million.

Fisher made his comments at an exclusive event hosted by Tiburon Strategic Advisors that carried an entry fee of $25,000 per person. Fisher is reportedly worth $3.7 billion, making him the 195th wealthiest person in the U.S., according to Forbes. 

Rachel Robasciotti, a principal and wealth manager at Robasciotti & Philipson who attended the conference as a speaker and heard Fisher's remarks, told CBS MoneyWatch that his comments highlight the intense sexism women often face in the investment business, which make it hard to gain a foothold in the industry. 

Women represent only 4% of top executives at mutual funds, hedge funds and other investment vehicles and control just 1% to 3.5% of fund assets under management, according to the Harvard Business Review.

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