According to a spokesperson at Fisher Investments, founder Ken Fisher will step down from the top executive role at the investment firm he founded in 1979 by the end of 2016. Of note, Fisher will celebrate his 65th birthday on November 29th of this year.

A spokesperson for the Washington state-based Fisher Investments noted in an email on Tuesday that Fisher has “openly stated” his intentions to resign in the year following his 65th birthday “for some years.”

The email goes on to say: “Nothing about that has changed.”

Ken Fisher Planning To Step Down AS CEO At End Of 2016 [UPDATED]

Some investors worried about Fisher’s impending departure

However, the looming changing of the guard at Ken Fisher’s firm has led to questions from investors in the firm. A pension plan for employees of the city of Seattle placed Fisher Investments on “watch” status earlier this year because of no announcement regarding a succession plan for Fisher, according to the minutes of the plan administrator’s board meeting.

Tony Smith, the deputy chief investment officer of the Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System, noted that consistent executive leadership at Fisher Investments would be a concern going forward in an interview with Investment News.

“That’s one of the primary points for the stability of an organization,” said Smith, who heard about Fisher’s plans to give up control during a meeting with the firm late last year. “That, combined with the lack of a succession plan, was the genesis of their concern.”

More on Ken Fisher

According to Forbes, Ken Fisher is worth around $2.9 billion. Of note, Fisher has written a column for Forbes for the last 30 years, and the son of the even more famous Phil Fisher.

Bill McBride, a PR rep for Fisher, commented he thought that Fisher would probably continue at the firm in some capacity after he gives up the CEO position, maybe as chairman of the board or as chief investment officer. McBride noted a successor is likely to be chosen from among the 1,000-plus employees of Fisher Investments.

A well-known public figure, Fisher has built himself up into a financial markets guru, offering stock tips and providing colorful and unabashed commentary on developments in the markets. He once described Pacific Investment Management’s (now-amended) theory of the “New Normal” as “idiotic.”

Fisher investments sent the following statement to ValueWalk on Thursday morning:

Contrary to stories circulating, Fisher Investments CEO and Founder Ken Fisher, currently 64, is not retiring.
As has been stated for years, Mr. Fisher will step down from the CEO position sometime in 2016, handing over day-to-day management of the firm’s non-investment operations. He will remain Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer and a member of the Investment Policy Committee with no change to his investment responsibilities. As Chairman, he will continue to regularly interact with clients, employees, and the investing public.
CEO succession is routinely discussed among institutional clients and their consultants and is included in the request for proposal (RFP) process, finals presentations, and regular updates with clients for all investment management firms, including Fisher Investments.