The move was in response to sexist comments made during an Oct. 8 conference presentation by Kenneth L. Fisher, Fisher Investments’ executive chairman and co-chief investment officer, said Vincent Loporchio, a Fidelity spokesman in an email.
Iowa PERS, Fidelity latest investors to cut Fisher Investments ties
“Fisher Investments no longer provides investment advisory services for any portion of the assets of Strategic Advisers Small-Mid Cap Fund, a fund available only within Fidelity managed accounts,” Mr. Loporchio said, adding, “We will leverage existing managers with larger mandates while we consider adding new outside managers.”
Fidelity does “not tolerate these types of comments,” Mr. Loporchio said in a previous statement about Mr. Fisher’s views.
For similar reasons, the $34 billion Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, Des Moines, terminated Fisher Investments on Friday from a $386 million actively managed U.S. equity portfolio, spokeswoman Shawna Lode said in a statement.
The fund’s investment staff reviewed what Mr. Fisher said at the conference, Ms. Lode said, and their opinion was that “Mr. Fisher’s comments have damaged the credibility of the firm and its leadership. As a result, the risk to IPERS is that the firm could lose investment talent and/or it may be unable to recruit high-caliber talent in the future.”
She added that the fund’s investment team also is concerned that the negative publicity resulting from Mr. Fisher’s actions “will probably continue to be a major distraction to Fisher investment personnel.”
IPERS is considering transition options, including a search for a manager to take over management of the portfolio, she said.
Ms. Lode did not provide more details on the strategy Fisher Investments managed.
Fidelity and IPERS’ decision to terminate Fisher Investments brings to nearly $1.8 billion the amount the money manager has lost since Mr. Fisher’s comments became public.