Attendees of a summit for senior executives said that a fireside chat with investment analyst Ken Fisher went off the rails Tuesday, as the billionaire reportedly used his time to rant about genitalia, Jeffrey Epstein and the immorality of charities, among other off-color comments.
Fisher, the founder and chairman of Fisher Investments, spoke at the Tiburon CEO Summit in San Francisco.
Attendee Alex Chalekian, the founder and CEO of Lake Avenue Financial, described the chat as a “true debacle” in a two-minute video he posted to Twitter Wednesday.
“It was horrible. Things that were said by Ken Fisher were just absolutely horrifying,” Chalekian said. “He made comments about genitalia, talked about picking up on a girl and ‘Don’t show ’em what’s in your pants.’ He made a reference to Jeffrey Epstein, [he] talked about charities are immoral, mentioned things about tripping on acid and other inappropriate comments at the conference.”
Fellow attendee and consulting firm founder Sonya Dreizler said she also saw most of Fisher’s chat, and confirmed Chalekian’s claims to investment news outlet ThinkAdvisor.
The Lake Avenue CEO said that he spoke to others at the conference who said they were “disgusted” by Fisher’s comments.
“Many of the women expressed to me this is one of the reasons why they don’t like coming to these conferences. It makes them feel very uncomfortable and this obviously doesn’t help the situation,” Chalekian said, adding that he was “horrified” by the fireside talk and couldn’t figure out whether Fisher was joking at first.
In response, Fisher said in an emailed statement to HuffPost: “While I said words he cited I don’t think he heard me correctly and clearly misconstrued my meaning and certainly my intended meaning. Most of his slant is ‘gotcha’ wrong in my view. To the extent he and any others were offended I apologize truly and sincerely.”
Tiburon Strategic Advisors and Chalekian did not respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
In his Twitter video, Chalekian acknowledged that the content of fireside chats like the one Fisher participated in are typically kept private, but in speaking with others, he said he found that Fisher’s comments are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
“Ken Fisher is actually known for making these types of comments around the workplace with his employees,” Chalekian said. “One of his past employees told me that he had made the comment to them talking about the fact that he thinks that slavery should have never been abolished.”
A financial adviser who requested anonymity told HuffPost that Fisher also made off-color comments at the 2018 EBI West Conference, which another Twitter user also mentioned. The adviser said Fisher’s comments were not “quite as aggressive” as the ones he made at Tiburon.
“At EBI, he called annuity salespeople ‘rat fuckers’ & when asked what he would do different, said ‘get laid more,’” the source wrote.
They added, “I’m more concerned with the idea that he feels totally comfortable saying these things in large groups as though no one would be horrified. (Or, he just doesn’t care that he’s a misogynist.)”
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