Pershing Square

  • billackmanpershingsquare-1

    "Our Successes Vastly Overwhelm Our Failures"

    Bill Ackman: Mistakes (Though Not Many) Were Made

    There comes a time in every hedge fund manager’s life when he must admit that he made a mistake. Sometimes that mistake was borrowing money from an investor fund to pay personal taxes. Sometimes that mistake was knocking off that hooker. Sometimes that mistake was thinking investors would be happy to hear that their one […]

    / Aug 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM
  • Dan Loeb Bloomberg Header

    News

    Dan Loeb’s Latest Message For Bill Ackman Blissfully Carl-Icahn-As-Enema-Administrator Free

    [Via ZH, Related: Dan Loeb’s High Road Is Paved With High Impact Enemas Administered By A 77 Year-Old Man]

    / Aug 12, 2013 at 2:02 PM
  • 0409_bill-ackman_416x416-300x300

    News

    Oh, So Bill Ackman Was Supposed To Know Clients Don’t Like It When You Accuse Them Of Fraud?

    Soros Fund Management LLC is withdrawing its money with William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management due to performance, according to a person close to the matter. Pershing is in the process of returning the money to Soros, less than $250 million, by early 2014, the person said. [Reuters, earlier: “Bill Ackman has filed a complaint […]

    / Aug 8, 2013 at 3:32 PM
  • carl-icahn_416x416

    News

    Dan Loeb’s High Road Is Paved With High Impact Enemas Administered By A 77 Year-Old Man

    Earlier today, a person, if a person were so inclined, could hop on his or her Bloomberg terminal, start a message to hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, and be greeted with a header that proclaimed “New HLF Product: The Herbalife Enema, Administered by Uncle Carl.” This line was an obvious reference to the figurative enema […]

    / Jul 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM
  • Hedge Funds

    Bill Ackman Channels Lyle Lanley, Billy Mays At The Same Time

    If you missed out on the opportunity to lose 90% on Bill Ackman’s last can’t-miss single-stock fund, you’ve got nine days to ensure you aren’t kicking yourself this time.

    / Jul 9, 2013 at 2:31 PM
  • billackmanpershingsquare-1

    News

    Bill Ackman Has A Dream

    Financial Times: You have received a lot of good press, but there has also been some criticism of some of the investment stances you have taken and also your trading techniques, specifically the short selling. In a way, your philanthropy does not seem to fit with how you live your professional life. How would you […]

    / Jun 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM
  • A pyramid o' money. But not in the bad way.

    News

    Guy Trades Dream Of Making Millions Selling Herbalife For New Dream Of Making Millions Suing Herbalife

    It’s a little surprising that it took this long for someone to sue Herbalife, isn’t it? Whether or not Bill Ackman is right about Herbalife being an illegal pyramid scheme, he did take the trouble of writing like 300 pages about it, which is usually more than enough to inspire some intrepid class action lawyer […]

    / Apr 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM
  • bill_ackman

    Hedge Funds

    Bill Ackman To Get JCPenney Ticker Symbol Tattooed To His Ass, Or Something

    That or he’s going to burn all his clothes and replace them exclusively with items exclusively purchased at the retailer, or hell, just move into the place. Whatever it takes to show he’s more committed to this place than ever.

    / Apr 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM
  • herbalifeshakerecipes.com, though I have not read and do not endorse the recipes

    News

    Herbalife’s Auditor Says You Can’t Rely On Its Financials, But Not In A Fun Way

    CAN YOU FEEL THE EXCITEMENT? No, right? Okay good. A senior audit partner at KPMG Los Angeles did a bad thing and “was involved in providing non-public client information to a third party, who then used that information in stock trades involving several West Coast companies.” And now KPMG has resigned as the auditor of […]

    / Apr 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM
  • williamackmanpershingsquare

    News

    Bill Ackman And David Einhorn’s Love Blossomed On A Subway Platform But Now They Might Not Even Give Up Their Seat If The Other One Was Pregnant

    Henry Winkler once said, “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”1 In 2011, Bill Ackman assumed it was okay to talk to The New York Times about David Einhorn’s business and, like a homeowner forced to move out for three days while a pest control company sprays the place, he’s been forced to pay for it, big time.

    / Mar 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM
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    News

    Bill Ackman Is Still Thinking About Filing An Appeal Against The SAT Board For Those 4 Questions He Got “Wrong” In 1984

    In 1984, when he was a junior at Horace Greeley High School, in affluent Chappaqua, New York, he wagered his father $2,000 that he would score a perfect 800 on the verbal section of the S.A.T. The gamble was everything Ackman had saved up from his Bar Mitzvah gift money and his allowance for doing […]

    / Feb 27, 2013 at 11:16 AM
  • Herbalife

    News

    Pershing Square: Herbalife Silenced Us

    Earlier today it was noted that, to the surprise of many, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn had refrained from asking questions or dialing in and making sudden outbursts during this morning’s conference call to discuss Herbalife’s fourth quarter earnings.  Obviously this came as a shock on account of Ackman and Icahn taking many opportunities in the past to share their feelings re: the company and each other. And while it’s true both men personally held their tongue’s today, according to Pershing Square, one of its analysts had planned to ask questions on Bill’s and the hedge fund’s behalf but was shot down.

    / Feb 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM
  • Your move, ya schmo.

    Hedge Funds

    What? Carl Icahn Just Thinks Selling Diet Shakes And Herbal Tea Is A Really Good Business

    Yesterday Carl Icahn filed a 13D disclosing a ~13% synthetic stake in Herbalife. There are three possible reasons that Carl Icahn might want to own half a billion dollars worth of Herbalife stock: as a value investment in a company with strong cash flows and a beaten-up stock price, as a toehold in preparation for […]

    / Feb 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM
  • oh yeah?

    News

    Men Dislike Each Other, Might Also Have Opinions On A Stock

    If you have an opinion on whether Carl Icahn or Bill Ackman got the better of today’s amazing CNBC shoutfest over Herbalife, you have a number of options for expressing it. We’ve had like four posts so, y’know, comment away, but if you want something more formal both CNBC and Business Insider have polls you […]

    / Jan 25, 2013 at 4:25 PM
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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