Billionaire Ken Fisher is starting to encounter a backlash after he made offensive remarks at a conference in San Francisco this week.
Clients of the $112 billion Fisher Investments, including large institutions, are in a position to reevaluate their relationship with Fisher after he shocked attendees Tuesday with lewd comments at the Tiburon CEO Summit.

“Fisher’s remarks are obviously concerning,” Shawna Lode, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, said by email. “Although our investment management contracts do not include a conduct policy, we hold our partners to the highest standards and reserve the right to amend or sever any contract at our discretion.” Fisher manages $386 million of the Iowa pension’s $34 billion.

Fisher Investments also manages 401(k) plans for dozens of companies, including Hames Corp., a family-owned grocery chain in Alaska.

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“It certainly taints their reputation,” Maxwell Rule, chief financial officer of Hames, said in a phone interview. “I wouldn’t comment at this point whether this would lead us to take our business elsewhere, but I will certainly have a conversation with the ownership regarding that. As a fiduciary I have an obligation to have that conversation.”

In a letter to employees on Friday, Fisher Investments chief executive Damian Ornani said the firm plans to start a diversity and inclusion task force. In a separate letter to the staff, Fisher apologized and said he understood that his comments reflected poorly on him and the firm.

“Let me be clear: Ken’s comments were wrong,” Ornani said. “He has admitted that and apologized for them.”

Ornani defended the firm’s commitment to women and cited favorable statistics about females in leadership roles at the firm. The CEO said the firm has the same commitment to its female employees as it does its male employees. He said 30% of the firm’s managers are women and 23% of the vice presidents or above are females.

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