(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire money manager Ken Fisher made several sexually charged remarks that shocked listeners at a financial services conference in San Francisco.
Fisher, whose firm manages more than $100 billion, spoke on Tuesday about how he built his company. He compared the process of gaining a client’s trust to “trying to get into a girl’s pants,” said Rachel Robasciotti, a founder of wealth manager Robasciotti & Philipson.
"I was floored,” said Robasciotti, who attended the event organized by Tiburon Strategic Advisors. “For me and some of the women sitting nearby we were kind of in shock. We were like: ‘Wait, did that really just happen?’”
Fisher also said that executives who are not comfortable talking about genitalia should not be in the financial industry, according to Robasciotti. She said he made a reference to dropping acid and also likened his employees to cattle who need to be branded.
Alex Chalekian, the founder of Lake Avenue Financial, posted a video on Twitter recounting what he heard Fisher say, calling the remarks “absolutely horrifying.”
“While I said words he cited I don’t think he heard me correctly and clearly misconstrued my meaning and certainly my intended meaning,” Fisher said in a statement Wednesday. “Most of his slant is ‘gotcha,’ wrong in my view. To the extent he and any others were offended I apologize truly and sincerely.”
Chip Roame, a Tiburon managing partner who moderated Fisher’s talk, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Chalekian said in the video that “the way the summit is set up, it’s meant to allow many of these icons in the industry to be comfortable, and talk among their peers. But I just had to open up and mention how disgusted I am.”
Sonya Dreizler, a consultant who attended most of the fireside chat, confirmed what Chalekian shared on the twitter video. "Since this content is not about business issues, I’m choosing to break that code of privacy to confirm that the comments from the stage indeed were outrageous,” she said.
Fisher founded Fisher Investments in 1979. He wrote a column at Forbes for decades and has authored 11 books. He has an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His firm serves large institutions and high-net worth clients.
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--With assistance from Gwen Everett.
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