“Sometimes the better part of valor in an investment situation is to move on. Onward.”
“He’s like the Carl Icahn of the real estate world — you pay him to go away,” Joshua Stein, principal of New York-based commercial real estate firm Joshua Stein PLLC, said of Ackman. “He can create value by merely not being there, by merely going off into the sunset.” [Bloomberg]
Ackman’s confession that he swam naked in the Bosphorus– the sea that runs through Istanbul- when he was an MBA student at Harvard came at a speech he gave in Istanbul last month. Ackman was on vacation, but he still wanted to introduce himself to the Turkish investment community…When asked why he swam naked, Ackman responded “’cause I didn’t have a swimming suit!” [IM]
It’s not a hedge fund gig, per se, but you will be working directly for the Big Kahuna. Ackman and his wife Karen are looking for someone to run the Pershing Square Charitable Foundation, which has about $55 million in assets and through grants does lots of good stuff for humanity (PSCF has aided farmers in Africa, helped New York high school kids pass the AP exams, etc, etc). Interested? Here’s what they’re looking for in a CEO: Read more »
May was the worst month for hedge funds since October 2008. The HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index lost 2.6 percent and Louis Moore Bacon got hammered. Not Boaz Weinstein. Yeah, he might have lost $1 billion at Deutsche Bank, but that’s old news. Boaz’s Saba Capital (Hebrew for grandfather) bucked the trend in May, up 1.6 percent for the month and 5.8 percent for the year.
Here’s some other winners and losers from May: Read more »
According to Pershing Square Q1 letter, released last night. For those of you keeping up at home, this is remarkable progress. Most investors had serious money riding on this coming out circa September 1. Unfortunately, this meant the missive was a tad light on the jokes and filled with a little less of the emotion we’ve come to expect of William’s all-nighters but the heart is still there. One Love (/stock). Read more »
As you’re likely aware, one of the most important skills to master when you’re in this money making game is to be able to regulate your emotions. You can’t freak out every time you lose a little cash, and on the flip side, it’s probably a good idea to avoid doing an end-zone dance on the days you make it rain. Many of Wall Street’s most successful investors have perfected the art of staying cool and calm, with the best of the best being basically dead inside. Then you have Bill Ackman.
The Dead Inside model is not the one he’s chosen to follow over the course of his career. On the contrary, Bill is stuffed to the gills with emotion, and often feels compelled to let them out. No, scratch that. Letting his salty tears flow is not a choice, just like Ackman’s passion for standing up to institutions like MBIA and saying “J’accuse!” wasn’t a choice, it was his duty.
Obviously these raw and uncut displays of what Bill’s feeling haven’t prevented him from doing pretty well for himself. They have, however, caused a certain amount of agita for those around him. Bill’s visible tears at last year’s Target shareholder meeting were deeply distressing to Joe Nocera, who hasn’t yet evolved to the point where he’s comfortable seeing a grown man cry. And in Christine Richard’s Confidence Game: How A Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street Bluff, we learn of a couple other instances in which Bill’s inability to keep it locked up– one the adorable quirks we love most about him and probably the source of his success!– resulted in some minor and major fallout (making an employee uneasy and the enacting of the aforementioned Nut Kicking Rule, respectively). Richard writes: Read more »