As you may have heard, over at Vanity Fair today you will find a profile of hedge fund manager Dan Loeb by William D. Cohan, titled “Little Big Man.” It’s kind of unflattering! Among other things, Loeb is described, by his peers, as “Machiavellian,” being possessed of a “Napoleonic” complex, and “the Kanye [West] of Wall Street.” With the exception of his mother and Anthony Scaramucci, none of the people quoted re: Loeb’s character had very nice things to say, instead noting that:

  • “He is just long and loud. He took a position and then started screaming and trying to force some change.”
  • “Loeb can write the most obnoxious letters on the planet, make up shit—[because he does] not really care … whether or not you hurt people or don’t hurt people. You just don’t care. The only thing you care about is making money on their stock. . . . [His letters] were juvenile, sophomoric, and cringe-making. Horrible. If you’re a decent member of society you [don’t do] shit like that.”
  • “He never, ever in a million years would have written these [Bloomberg] posts back in 2008 when he was down nearly 50 percent and nearly blew up. That was a humble Dan Loeb, who never would have gone out making enemies needlessly.”
  • “The guy almost went out of business in 2008. . . . I think what happened was he had a good couple of years. He bounced back. He put up some good numbers, and I just think his ego has gotten so out of control. . . . With the fund doing well, I just think it’s completely gone to his head, and he surrounds himself with a bunch of sycophants.”

The person who has the most to share, though, is Loeb’s former friend Bob Chapman* (who is not so different from Loeb in his love of laying into CEO’s and dialing into earnings calls to ask companies to comment on alleged ‘ass rapings’). The most amusing part of Chapman’s commentary on all things Loeb is his habit of adding a back-handed compliment or striking a self-deprecating note to soften each of his mildly to majorly devastating blows: Read more »