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Ken Fisher Reassures Some Employees That They Won't Lose Jobs

Sabrina Willmer

(Bloomberg) -- Ken Fisher tried to a reassure a group of employees that they wouldn’t lose their jobs or see their pay affected by his mistakes.

On a phone call Thursday with the staff that manages institutional relationships, Fisher expressed remorse and said the business is still growing despite the loss of key clients, according to people familiar with the matter. About 20 institutions are pulling almost $3.9 billion from the firm, one of the people said.

Fisher took his message to the group that has the most to lose from the exodus -- employees who serve some of the firm’s biggest clients.

The billionaire’s mea culpa follows the retreat over the past few weeks by large institutions in response to inappropriate remarks he made at a conference on Oct. 8. Some of biggest names in finance, including Fidelity Investments and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and an array of state and city pension funds have yanked their money from the firm.

Ever since the controversy erupted, Fisher has tried to move on and emphasize the positive. Last week, Fisher sent an email to the institutional group in response to the firm winning a small institutional account.

“It is a very nice reward in what has otherwise been a very very annoying week for so many here,” he wrote. “It is symbolic that there is life ahead and progress after we get through this firestorm.”

Fisher managed more than $35 billion in institutional money globally as of Sept. 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sabrina Willmer in New York at swillmer2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, Josh Friedman

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