The Postreports Ackman and Scoggin Capital manager Craig Effron will do battle with McEnroe and his brother, Patrick, after bidding $100,000 on one hour of tennis at a charity lunch the other day. If the brothers are trying to gather intel on Ackman's style, the Pershing Square founder's formidable game was described in a book by Christine Richard, Confidence Game: How a Hedge Fund Manager Called Wall Street's Bluff.
Grossman describes Ackman as a “force of nature” at the Horace Greeley High School, where he graduated fourth in his class in 1984. Tall, with prematurely gray hair, Ackman stood out. “When Bill came into a room, you knew he was there.” Grossman gave Ackman an epithet that appeared in his yearbook: “A closed mouth gather no foot.” The sentiment sprung partly from Grossman’s frustration with Ackman as a partner on the tennis team. “If there were a film of us playing tennis, it would show him talking and me ignoring him,” says Grossman. “He’d say to me, ‘You just missed a forehand volley into the net.’ He’d reprimand himself, too, if he missed a shot. He would talk to me literally after every point. He paid compliements, too, event to himself.” Ackman doesn’t remember being an annoying tennis partner, though he recalls that the pair made it to the New York state quarterfinals.