Ten years ago, Carl Icahn hired his son Brett to be an analyst at Icahn Enterprises and the kid didn’t fuck anything up so he got to keep his job. Two year ago, Carl gave Brett and another employee, David Schechter, $300 million to invest under the “Sargon portfolio,” and the guys returned 96 percent (before fees) through June. Last month, Carl tossed the duo an additional $3 billion and a contract that expires in 2016, at which time Papa Icahn will either officially deem Brett a worthy successor or offer to serve as a reference when he looks for a new job.
Under a 46-page legal agreement filed with federal regulators last month, Brett Icahn and Schechter will get to invest their boss’s capital in companies with stock market values between $750 million and $10 billion. The deal may free the elder Icahn, who still has final say over many aspects of the portfolio, to focus on larger targets for shareholder activism. Brett, who turns 33 this month, along with Schechter has been running $300 million for his father, who owns more than 90 percent of Icahn Enterprises LP, a holding company with $24 billion in assets including activist investing partnerships as well as the Tropicana casinos, an oil refiner and an auto-parts maker. The arrangement expires after Carl turns 80 in 2016, giving Brett the chance to both prove his mettle as a successor and develop a track record to start his own hedge fund.
“These two guys doubled our money over the last two years,” the elder Icahn said in an interview. “You can’t complain about that.” Brett didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.
Here’s a random guy on the street’s two cents on the matter: “It’s a pretty nice gesture by the old man. If the son doesn’t meet the standard Carl is looking for, it gives Brett an opportunity to go out and earn his own.”
Carl Icahn Hands Son Brett $3 Billion To Prove His Mettle [Bloomberg]
Related: The two often play chess, wagering thousands of dollars a game. Brett plays better. “I can’t figure out how he does it,” his father says, adding that a chess pro was coming over to coach him later that day. “Don’t tell Brett. I don’t want him to know.”