Bill Ackman

  • icahn-ackman

    News

    How Should Bill Ackman And Carl Icahn Settle This Thing Once And For All?

    When Mark Hughs founded a multi-level marketing company called Herbalife in 1980, he probably thought it had the power to do a lot of things. Help people lose weight. Makes others rich. Shake up the diet industry. What he mostly likely did not expect, however, was that his li’l company that could would reignite a feud between two billionaires that would devolve into a flurry of press releases quibbling over who was dying to be friends with whom, shouting matches on live TV, and, we predict, someone telling someone else he has a right mind to “Rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull! You messed with the wrong hedge fund manager!”

    / Jan 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM
  • billackmanpershingsquare

    News

    Bill Ackman Thinks Carl Icahn Is A Great Investor, Bald-Faced Liar, Person Who Will Never Gain Admittance To The Friends Of Bill Ackman Society

    In response to Icahn telling Bloomberg he neither likes, nor respects the Pershing Square founder, Bill Ackman got a couple important points of his chest, the first being that 1. The feeling’s mutual, buddy! And 2. You can tell Carl Icahn is lying if his lips are moving.

    / Jan 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM
  • carlicahn

    News

    Carl Icahn Still Thinks Bill Ackman Is A Bum, But That’s Just, Like, His Opinion

    There are many people in the universe who are fans of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. They like his style. His charm. The way he makes them feel. The fact that he’s not afraid to show his emotions or give them an honest opinion about their new dress or say “You know what? Those highlights really aren’t working for you.” Carl Icahn, however, is not one of those people. Save for a fleeting moment of supposed amicability following “a lengthy, boozy dinner,” Icahn has viewed Ackman as a punk for nearly a decade; an untrustworthy little jerk who Ichan’s friends supposedly told him not to do business with. (The feeling being more than a little mutual; as Ackman has put it, “The guy is a shakedown artist. His word is worthless.”) Anyway, in case anyone was wondering if the investors had put an end to their feud with another long, booze-filled meal, wonder no longer.

    / Jan 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM
  • Herbalife's CEO, in a field

    News

    Herbalife Wants To Resolve Its Differences With Bill Ackman With A Hug And/Or A Lawsuit

    I don’t really know what to tell you about Herbalife’s investor day presentation this morning. One thing that’s definitely true is that it was shorter than Bill Ackman’s anti-Herbalife presentation a few weeks ago, which the Herbalife team seemed inordinately proud of, since, like, the Ring Cycle is shorter than Ackman’s presentation. It was … […]

    / Jan 10, 2013 at 5:47 PM
  • herbalife-large-2

    News

    Does Your Next Food Eating Challenge Involve Binge Drinking Herbalife’s Formula 1 Nutrition Shake?

    As many of you know, around these parts we are constantly debating the merits of various financial services employees’ food eating challenges. Historically, we’ve detracted points for allowing the participants far too much time to complete the task at hand (opening bell to close, might as well just make it limitless), an insufficient volume of food (a box of Munchkins, considered by many to be a snack), and lack of originality (vending machine challenges have been done). On the flip side, we’ve applauded creativity (an investment banker and 500 Starburst enter a room and there’s a webcam involved),* obscene amounts of food and enough sugar to cause hyperglycemia (244 oysters, a cupcake of death), and topicality (the delicacy that is the Sausage Pancake Bite: yes! Double Downs: double yes!).

    Which brings us to this: the Herbalife Food Eating Challenge. New York Observer reporter Patrick Clark noticed that while the Herbalife story has been covered by many an angle so far (the blood-sucking pyramid scheme angle, the grandma angle, the Dan Loeb/UWS hedge fund manager on UWS hedge fund manager angle), the most important angle of all had yet to be explored: the actual ingesting of this stuff angle.

    / Jan 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM
  • Is this more of a Loeb post? I dunno.

    News

    Dan Loeb Gets In On “The Best Managed Pyramid Scheme In The History Of The World” At A Discount

    An important truism in the financial markets is that there’s no such thing as a “toxic asset,” tout court; everything is toxic/dangerous/Bad at some (high) price and attractive/safe/Good at some other (much lower) price and there’s a wide area in between where things mostly live and you fight about their pricing. You can apply that […]

    / Jan 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM
  • News

    Even When Bill Ackman Loses, He Makes A 77-Fold Return

    With his attentions now focused elsewhere, Bill Ackman has no time to make three-hour presentations about why Canadian mall owner General Growth Properties should be sold, post-haste. Also: The company he wanted to buy GGP* didn’t want it anymore. So he’s picking up his toys and going home.

    / Jan 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM
  • I giggled. From like slide 8,000 of twelve million or whatever.

    News

    Bill Ackman Full Of Praise For Company He Thinks Is A Blood-Sucking Pyramid Scheme

    Well, the praise was brief but extravagant, specifically “this is the best managed pyramid scheme in the history of the world,” which I at least would be proud to have on my resume, but I might be in the minority there. What do you think Ackman’s goal was in this morning’s 340-slide, nineteen-hour Herbalife presentation […]

    / Dec 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM
  • But to be fair I love their hand sanitizer.

    Hedge Funds

    Bill Ackman Unimpressed By Business Model Of Selling Diet Shakes To Your Friends; Diet Shake Salesman Unimpressed By Business Model Of Being Bill Ackman

    What is the best line from Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson’s amazingly hostile call with CNBC this afternoon, in which he maintained that Bill Ackman is wrong that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme? I think the two leading contenders are: “Mr. Ackman’s proposition that the United States would be better when Herbalife is gone? The United […]

    / Dec 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM
  • billackmanpershingsquare

    Hedge Funds

    Bill Ackman Does Not Act, Bill Ackman Feels Deeply (And Does Not Appreciate The Insinuation Otherwise, THANK YOU VERY MUCH)

    As we have discussed at length, when it comes to the art of regulating one’s emotions while investing, there are two models to choose from: The Dead Inside paradigm, wherein you remain calm, cool, and collected, maintaining the same expression on your face whether you’ve lost $1 billion on one trade or made three times that much on another; and The Bill Ackman. The mega-successful Pershing Square founder imbues emotion in everything he does, particularly when it comes to his job. As a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, in the past Ackman has been known to: cry at shareholder meetings; get extremely heated to the point of his face becoming “flushed,” his eyes “misty” when meeting with SEC investigators; pen “long, emotional, late-night missives” to top SEC brass; and erupt on directors of companies with such passion that his “furious outburst” could be “heard in an outside hallway.”

    As there are few on Wall Street who exhibit such raw emotion while conducting business, and there is a propensity by some to employ tactics that will put them in the power position when facing foes, perhaps it should not come as too much of a shock that recently, a reporter asked Ackman whether or not the waterworks or displays of indignation are pre-planned, in front of a mirror. For those who’ve long known Ackman has more integrity in one salty tear than most have in their entire body, his answer will not come as a shock, but to set the record straight, for anyone holding out hope of seeing him do a little regional theater at some point in the future:

    / Dec 4, 2012 at 4:11 PM
  • News

    First Class Customer Service At Marea Means Never Seating Bill Ackman Next To A CSMFPOS

    Increasingly, restaurants are recording whether you are a regular, a first-timer, someone who lives close by or a friend of the owner or manager. They archive where you like to sit, when you will celebrate a special occasion and whether you prefer your butter soft or hard, Pepsi over Coca-Cola or sparkling over still water. […]

    / Sep 5, 2012 at 1:24 PM
  • tousled Bill

    News

    Bill Ackman Has A Lot To Say About General Growth Properties

    It’s August, things are slow, and I have a suspicion that Carl Icahn let his lawyers go on vacation and is just writing his two-sentence letters to CVR Energy himself. Bill Ackman, not so much: To the Board of Directors of General Growth Properties: … [eight pages] … I look forward to speaking further with […]

    / Aug 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM
  • He's personally affronted

    News

    SEC Wants Activist Hedge Funds To Share With The Rest Of The Class

    Financial markets are basically about information asymmetries, real and imagined, and financial regulation is largely about limiting those asymmetries to socially acceptable kinds and quantities. A general rule for trading success – perhaps the only useful rule for trading success – is: if you know something that nobody else knows and that will increase the […]

    / Aug 15, 2012 at 6:15 PM
  • Buzzfeed's 25 Photos of Mitt Romney Looking Perfectly Normal: Amazing

    News

    Mitt Romney, Bill Ackman Undone By Forms

    Let’s talk about two tenuously related stories about government filings, why not. I don’t have much to say about this Mitt Romney Bain thing today but go read it, it is fascinating. Basically Mitt Romney certified under penalty of perjury in some federal electoral forms* that he was not involved with Bain Capital after 1999, […]

    / Jul 12, 2012 at 5:30 PM
  • Communiqués

    Bill Ackman: Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

    The principal weakness we share with most other money managers is the fact that our capital base is not permanent, and we therefore keep cash on hand and/or own passive liquid investments which we can sell to meet potential investor demands for capital. To address this weakness in our open end hedge fund structure, later this year, we intend to launch the private phase of Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd., which we expect to eventually list on the London Stock Exchange…In [the cases of Canadian Pacific, JC Penney, Justice Holdings and General Growth], we had the resources to effectuate the necessary change and the capital commitment from investors who were willing to wait for the changes to be implemented. During the course of each investment, however, there have been periods of enormous skepticism both from the investing public at large and, presumably, from some of you who are invested in the Funds…The Pershing Square funds have been a large beneficiary of our ability to take advantage of periodic market skepticism by increasing our ownership at more favorable prices. Volatility is the friend of the unleveraged long-term investor. We much prefer the bumpy road to higher rates of return than a smoother ride to more modest profits.

    Pershing Square Q12012 Letter To Investors [PDF]

    / Jun 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Give A Bill Ackman A Fish And You’ll Feed Him For A Day. Teach A Bill Ackman To Fish And He’ll Hire You To Work At Pershing Square. (Ditto Re: Tennis Lessons.)

    How do the world’s leading hedge fund managers go about assembling their teams? While some choose the standard head hunter and “pitch me a stock” route with candidates who’ve had at least a few years of business experience and proven track records, others prefer a more outside the box approach. Bridgewater Associates, for instance, has said that instead of going after veterans of Wall Street, it prefers to hire people straight out of college, when their minds are still malleable. Founder Ray Dalio has stated: “Interest in the subject matter is a minor consideration…We are first interested in people’s values, second interested in their abilities, and least interested in their precise skills. We want independent thinkers who are willing to put aside their egos to find out what is true.”

    Similarly, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who has never been one to follow the crowd, eschews the typical hiring process in identifying talent. Instead, Ackman relies on gut instincts when it comes to making personnel calls, many of which occur outside the confines of the investing world. For example, a former analyst named Oliver White was hired after serving as Ackman’s guide on a fishing expedition in Tierra del Fuego. (Per Christine Harpers’s Confidence Game: “For six days, Ackman and White, a philosophy graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talked and fished. White explained technical details to Ackman about fly selection, casting the line, and luring the fish. Meanwhile, Ackman spotted the next member of Pershing Square’s investment team. “At the end of his stay, he asked me– no, he told me– I should come to New York and work for him.”) While Ackman was obviously impressed with White’s talent, it seems the offer was made on the basis of spending six days peering into the guy’s soul and seeing something special he knew in his plums would carry over into the investing world, rather than as a barter deal for more fishing lessons. In other cases, people have been asked to join the Pershing team after dazzling Ackman with a skill he wanted to acquire.

    Days after Bill Ackman won control of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP), the nation’s second-largest railway, he was at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center trying to control his backhand against Wall Street’s biggest hitters. “My groundstrokes were actually pretty good,” the 46- year-old chief of Pershing Square Capital Management said toward the end of play at the R Baby Foundation doubles tournament. The event was a fundraiser to aid emergency pediatric care. “I had too many unforced errors.”

    […]

    On Saturday, his partner was Elena Piliptchak of Tiger Europe Management, who played for Kansas State University and was the lone female competing. Ackman’s partner was 25-year-old Mariusz Adamski, a business major and No. 1 doubles player at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. After they were introduced three years ago by Jeffrey Appel, an investment banker, Ackman hired Adamski at Pershing.

    Where will Bill find his next super star? Let us be the first to suggest the ranks of street magicians, as they have have all the classic BA lures including the possession of a skill he most likely doesn’t have and would like to learn and natural stage presence.
    Harvard, Princeton Bankers Seek Net Glory In Tennis Match [Bloomberg]
    Confidence Game [Christine Harper]

    / May 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM
  • News

    Dear Pershing Square Investors

    March performance.

    / Apr 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Pershing Square January Performance, In Two Words

    “Investing karma.”

    / Feb 7, 2012 at 4:16 PM
  • I will sell this house today

    Bill Ackman Would Love For You To Get Bullish On Housing

    “How does Bill Ackman do it” is a question the investing community surely asks itself on a daily basis. Three words: Berkshire Mountains hideaway. Outsiders may figure in-depth research combined with skillful and ethical activism and a highly concentrated portfolio are the keys to Pershing Square’s success but, really, a 100-acre spread in upstate New […]

    / Jan 31, 2012 at 3:51 PM
  • News

    Dear Pershing Square Investors

    December performance.

    / Jan 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM
  • Communiqués

    Dear Pershing Square Investors: We’re All In This Together

    Sure, Bill could let himself get upset about how things are panning out this year but he’s not. And if anyone should be freaking out about the way things are going, you’d better believe it’s him. He’s got mucho personal dinero tied up in this thing and if it goes down big time, it’s gonna […]

    / Nov 22, 2011 at 6:25 PM
  • News

    Bill Ackman’s Lowe’s Presentation

    “Waiting For A Bounce” [PDF]

    / Nov 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM
  • Hedge Funds, News

    Bill Ackman’s Big Secret Trade is GOLD!!!

    No, not really, the new moneymaker is buying calls on the Hong Kong dollar, betting on Hong Kong abandoning its peg to USD. Regular recipients of Ackman’s unsolicited advice (e.g. anyone he’s set up with a personal trainer or wife), and those who read the comments here, may have already known that. Hedge Fund Investor […]

    / Sep 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM
  • News

    Bill Ackman Isn’t Ready To Introduce Investors To His New Money-Maker Yet

    In his most recent letter to Pershing Square investors, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman dropped a bomb. The fund has added a new star to its portfolio and a big one at that. “In the past, we have made asymmetric investments which are not for hedging purposes, but which also offer large payoffs on relatively […]

    / Aug 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM
  • News

    How Would You Like To See The Oval Office Entirely Redecorated With The Home Furnishing Offerings From Target?

    He’s already thrown his hat in the ring for a gig running Treasury Secretary but the people would like Bill Ackman to dream bigger. Washington Post readers polled yesterday said they want the Pershing Square founder to run as a third party candidate for President (his qualifications being the bank plan he wrote up in […]

    / Jul 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM
  • News

    New York Mets Not Einhorn’s First Pick

    “He looked seriously at the Brewers,” said Bill Ackman, another hedge fund heavyweight, who runs Pershing Square Capital Management. He said that Einhorn did not view his interest as a lark. Indeed, Ackman said Einhorn “kicked himself” when he heard what Attanasio’s group paid for his share of the team: $223 million. [NYT]

    / Jun 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM
  • News

    Live-Blogging The Ira Sohn Conference: Part III

    On tap: Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, David Einhorn, Eike Batista, Carl Icahn 4:55 Speaker 11, Bill Ackman, Pershing Square 4:56 “A lot of people think of Pershing Square as an activist fund- well this is going to be a passive idea” 4:57 Bill is recommending…

    / May 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM
  • News

    Live-Blogging The Ira Sohn Conference

    This year’s conference will not include David Tepper’s balls but the show must go on. Scheduled speakers, in order of appearance: Erez Kalir, Dinakar Singh, Jeff Aronson, Robert Howard, Phil Falcone, Jim Chanos, winner of the inaugural Ira Sohn investment contest, Steve Feinberg, Peter May, Steve Esiman, Jeff Gundlach, Marc Faber, Bill Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, […]

    / May 25, 2011 at 12:23 PM

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