Fusion Co-Founder, Kimberly Papedis, reacts to prevailing news following the Tiburon CEO Summit

As a female leader in our industry, and a former financial advisor, I can assure you from a “girl’s” perspective, winning clients is NOTHING like “trying to get into a girl’s pants.”

I did not attend the Tiburon conference. So, I did not sign the NDA that would be required of me to lay out $25,000 to stand alongside the 15 women present among a total of 220 attendees. So, assuming none of them actually enjoyed Ken Fisher’s comments, I will speak for them and all the other women in our industry when I say, ENOUGH.

Certainly, you have read the nationwide press if you are reading this “girl’s” commentary. But, if you haven’t, let me catch you up on some of the comments that he insists, “Mostly the (his) audience understands…”

Alas, Fisher apologized, “Some of the words and phrases I used during a recent conference to make certain points were clearly wrong and I shouldn’t have made them. I realize this kind of language has no place in our company or industry,” he said. “I sincerely apologize.”

Let me help you re-write this for the financial services industry, which happens to include not only women but fathers, husbands and others who actually think of us as people.  Let’s try this, “All of the words and phrases I used throughout my career to make sure everyone knew exactly who I am I should have used in my inside voice. I realize this language has no place in any conversation. And, I would say I am sorry, but my previous sentence clearly shows you I am not.”

But in an earlier interview with Bloomberg News, Fisher appeared to downplay his comments: “I have given a lot of talks, a lot of times, in a lot of places and said stuff like this and never gotten that type of response,” Fisher told the media outlet.

Fusion’s female employees outnumber men in our firm. In fact, we are comprised of 72% women. As soon as this article hit the industry publications, we began the text exchange. Nothing disheartened me more than this response from a prominent female industry veteran:

“And the best part is….NOTHING will happen. Even if he loses some employees, clients may not ever see this article AND, if he exits the business – he’ll get a big check.”

UGH! I thought. We have to do something. And then, this got some national attention Ken is always seeking…..

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fisher-investments-ken-fisher-billionaires-sexist-comments-spark-outrage-getting-into-a-girls-pants/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/billionaire-ken-fisher-s-sexual-comments-offend-conference-goers

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ken-fisher-genitalia-comments_n_5d9e229be4b06ddfc512c159?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAGG8HQ52Iy1ZJWq0FWXQFe6gldsolD2dBSKjp3Z0VfeR63vfpM18DoqXORWfjTzBb5bQL1CSRiGlau_hlBLOwOReC6ZyfXf5JDvHal3I2ynDKx3Sgyr4Gw53b8wRYUdzD8QHj_2CzvtixlB9Us8CEVcJ52sEpOJlLWsb4khhXP5S

While I applaud our industry publications for reporting on this today, the fact that this was big news solely because the comments came from an “industry icon” (really?) who made comments at a highly publicized pay-to-play event is not that impressive. Where were the financial services investigative reporters years ago when #MeToo was covered all over Hollywood? I think I may have seen one or two articles in financial services publications. Really? Unless you were interviewing a small sample of female financial services professionals who recently entered our space, I am certain you would have found many, many stories. Too bad, because I am certain if you did your research and contacted a small sample of females in our industry licensed pre-2017, you would have uncovered enough to write a best seller.

The national press has done an amazing job reporting about all of the inequalities, injustices and unwanted sexual advances (even worse than that!) to women…. in Hollywood. But, where is the news on women in the financial services industry?

To all of our friends, strategic partners, and corporations who are holding our industry to the accountability we all desire, I commend you. And, to our friends and partners I know were at this conference but refused to comment, I say, BE BOLD! Do not hide behind the press of your “diversity initiatives” or “women’s conferences” or the press release of the one token female you promoted from middle management to “almost the C suite”.

We all know that integrity is what you do when no one else is watching. But, today is your day – and everyone is watching.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/has-never-been-bigger-call-action-kimberly-papedis-cfp