"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 York is the engine that drives this firm.
Specifically, the one found in Chatham, New York, that Ackman "scraped together the money" to buy in 2003, just months before his second act hedge fund launched, to arguably more success than its predecessor, Gotham Partners. Coincidence? Bill doesn't think so. "This place has really good investing karma," Ackman tells us. (Since buying the house, Pershing has had 21 percent compound returns. You do the math.) Is this information relevant in any way to your universe? If you've got $5 million to spare, a yen for sweeping views of the Berkshire mountains, and a desire to pump up lackluster returns it might be.
Despite spending many a happy (and profitable) weekend at the place over the last nine years, Ackman has with great reluctance and probably more than a few tears decided to put it on the market, having precious little time to make the (quick and painless!) trip up now that his three children have many an extracurricular commitment to tend to. According to Bill, he's offering you "the deal of a lifetime" (and, in our professional opinions, we agree), when you consider 1) what he bought it for ($3.2 million, then put another $1.5 million in) and 2) what you're getting. Things like:
A 75x20 foot pooland pond, where you can ice skate in the winter and row in the summer (Bill does)
A studio, for when you feeling like getting in touch with your artistic side (imagine all the portraits Bill has sat for as a model in here)
The aforementioned investing karma. Sayeth Bill: "Some of my best ideas have been hatched in this house."
"I did the work for GGP in the room off the kitchen."
"We had our company retreat at the house the day Wendy's announced the spin off of Tim Horton's."
Your own canopy bed (Ackman is looking to sell everything)
Not sure what more convincing you could possibly need to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Ackman tells us he wants the house to go to "someone with a good soul" but beggars/choosers/etc (he says he'll donate it to Harvard if he can't find the right buyer but don't they have enough?). Bottom line: he's ready to make a deal today, now. Give his broker, Deborah Kern, a ring at 212-572-3190 or get in touch with him directly. He's standing by the phone.