Katz, Marshall & Banks associate Matthew LaGarde was quoted in the Financial Times article, “How Ken Fisher collided with a new finance culture.”
Ken Fisher, the billionaire chairman of Fisher Investments, has seen his company suffer nearly $3 billion in divestments after making boorish and sexist remarks at a conference. This is not the first time Fisher has made offensive comments – his Twitter history references jokes about sleeping with subordinates, and questions the merits of outlawing slavery in America.
While such jokes and remarks may have been ignored or embraced previously, that is not the case today. State and city worker pension funds from Los Angeles to Philadelphia have pulled investment mandates climbing into the billions.
This is a welcome development, but still only a start for an industry that has struggled with bigotry. “The finance industry is the archetypal boys’ club,” said Mr. LaGarde. “Many women in finance rightly fear that if they speak up about harassment, including verbal harassment, they could face career-derailing retaliation or become known for their complaints instead of their contributions.”
As industry competition over assets continues to increase, managers can no longer be seen as having outdated or offensive views, or they risk losing valuable clients.
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