American investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist Bill Ackman. He is the founder and CEO of the New York City-based hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management.
Bill Ackman Biography
In addition to receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992, Ackman graduated from Harvard College in 1988. After earning his degree, he spent a brief period of time working for the investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert before partnering with David Berkowitz to start Gotham Partners in 1992.
Gotham Partners had a number of profitable hedge funds, but in 2002, Ackman shut down the business over a disagreement with his partner.
Ackman established Pershing Square Capital Management in 2003, a hedge fund that focuses on activist and value investing.
Under his direction, Pershing Square, which specializes on large-cap firms like Target, Procter & Gamble, and Canadian Pacific Railway, has grown to become one of the most prosperous hedge funds in the world.
Bill Ackman Education
In 1988, he graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor of arts degree in history, magna cum laude. The title of Ackman’s dissertation was “Scaling the Ivy Wall: The Jewish and Asian American Experience in Harvard Admissions.” The Harvard Business School then awarded him an MBA.
Bill Ackman Age
Ackman was born on May 11, 1966. He is [agecalc birthdate=1966-05-11]
Bill Ackman Family
Lawrence David Ackman, chairman of the Jewish-owned Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group in New York City, and Ronnie I. (née Posner) Ackman are the parents of Bill.
Bill Ackman Wife
He wed landscape architect Karen Ann Herskovits on July 10, 1994.
Bill Ackman Divorce
The couple’s separation was announced on December 22, 2016, according to reports.
Bill Ackman Children
Ackman and Karen are parents to three children.
Bill Ackman Gotham Partners
Together with fellow Harvard grad David P. Berkowitz, Bill launched the investment company Gotham Partners in 1992. Later, the company made a few tiny investments in listed firms. He joined forces with the real estate and insurance company Leucadia National to submit a 1995 proposal for Rockefeller Center.
Even though the company lost the contract, it raised investor interest in Gotham, which resulted in $500 million in assets by 1998.
By 2002, the company was deeply involved in legal disputes with numerous external shareholders who also held shares of the businesses Gotham invested in.
Ackman started his investigation disputing MBIA’s AAA rating in 2002, despite the fact that federal and state authorities in New York are still looking into his trades.
He was then prosecuted for copying 725,000 pages of financial services company statements as part of his legal firm’s response to a subpoena.
Bill urged a separation between the structured finance and municipal bond insurance businesses of MBIA’s bond insurers.
Using a second company, LaCrosse Financial Products, which MBIA referred to as a “orphaned transformer,” Ackman claimed that MBIA was legally prohibited from trading the billions of dollars’ worth of credit default swap (CDS) protection that it had previously offered against numerous mortgage-backed CDOs.
During the 2008 financial crisis, he purchased credit default swaps against the corporate debt of MBIA and later sold them for a sizable profit. According to the 13D filing with the SEC, Ackman disclosed covering his short position in MBIA on January 16, 2009.
Bill Ackman Carl Icahn
In 2003, a dispute arose between Ackman and Carl Icahn over a transaction involving Hallwood Realty. They also agreed to a “schmuck insurance” wherein Carl and Bill would divide the revenues if Carl sold the shares within three years and realized a profit of 10% or greater. Then, Carl paid $80 for each share.
In April 2004, HRPT Property Trust purchased Hallwood for $136.16 per share.
Ackman investors owed Carl roughly $4.5 million as per the terms, but Carl refused to pay, therefore Ackman sued him. The Court ordered Carl to pay $4.5 million plus 9% interest each year going back to the selling date eight years later.
Bill Ackman Pershing Square
Ackman founded Pershing Square Capital Management in 2004 with $54 million from his own resources and from his previous business partner Leucadia National.
In 2005, after acquiring a sizable stake in Wendy’s International, the company successfully persuaded it to sell its Tim Hortons doughnut brand. Through an IPO in 2006, Wendy’s separated from Tim Hortons and generated $670 million for Wendy’s stockholders.
A disagreement about executive succession occurred after Bill sold his shares at a substantial profit, and the stock price plummeted. This led to complaints that Wendy’s corporation had lost market share due to the selling of its division with the quickest rate of growth. Bill ascribed the subpar results to the company’s new CEO.
By purchasing stock and derivatives, his funds acquired a 10% position in Target Corporation in December 2007 that was worth $4.2 billion.
In December 2010, his funds held a 38% share in Borders Group, and on December 6, 2010, Bill said he would finance the acquisition of Barnes & Noble for US$900 million.
Bill defended his old friend Ezra Merkin in January 2009 during a panel discussion about Bernie Madoff by asking, “Has Ezra committed a crime? “I don’t believe so,” and “I believe [Merkin] is an honest person, an intelligent person, an interesting person, and a wise investor.”
Bill Ackman Hedge Fund
Bill was ranked among the top 20 hedge fund managers in the world by LCH Investments in January 2015 after Pershing Square generated $4.5 billion in net returns for investors in 2013. By the end of 2014, it had increased the fund’s cumulative gains since its inception in 2004 to $11.6 billion.
Bill Ackman Valeant
On April 27, 2016, Bill appeared before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging along with Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ departing CEO, J. Michael Pearson, and the organization’s previous interim CEO, Howard Schiller.
The testifying group then responded to inquiries regarding the Committee’s worries regarding the effects Valeant’s business model and contentious pricing practices would have on patients as well as the healthcare system.
Bill sold the Investment Bank Jefferies his remaining 27.2 million shares in Valeant in March 2017 for around $300 million.
Bill Ackman Herbalife
In December 2012, Bill published a study that criticized the multi-level marketing business strategy used by Herbalife and referred to it as a pyramid scheme.
He revealed that beginning in May 2012, his hedge firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, directly (and without the use of derivatives) traded short the company’s shares.
Herbalife’s stock price decreased as a result of this. In an effort to lower Herbalife’s stock price, Bill launched a $50 million PR campaign against the company in 2014.
On January 25, 2013, a live television debate between him and Herbalife booster Carl Icahn lasted about 30 minutes on CNBC.
Carl referred to Ackman as “a crybaby in the schoolyard” throughout the program and asserted that making Bill aware of his short position will eventually put him in the “mother of all short squeezes.”
On November 22, 2013, Ackman stated on Bloomberg Television that Pershing Square’s open short position in Herbalife was “$400 million to $500 million” in the hole, but he vowed to keep the short “to the end of the earth” and wouldn’t be pressured out.
Bill Ackman Book
He makes his analysts read the following books;
Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham
The Warren Buffet Way by Robert G. Hagstrom
Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street’s Bluff by Christine Richard
Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
Quality of Earnings by Thornton O’Glove
Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor by Seth Klarman
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
One Up on Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market by Peter Lynch and John Rothchild
You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits by Joel Greenblatt
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Lawrence A. Cunningham and Warren Buffett
Fooling Some of the People All of the Time, A Long Short (and Now Complete) Story, Updated with New Epilogue by David Einhorn and Joel Greenblatt
Bill Ackman’s Net Worth
As of 2023, Bill’s net worth was assessed by Forbes Magazine to be $4.1 billion USD.
Bill Ackman Philanthropy
Bill has donated to philanthropic organizations including the Center for Jewish History, where he personally contributed $6.8 million and led a successful attempt to pay off $30 million in debt.
The three greatest individual donations the center has ever received were made by Joseph Steinberg, president of Leucadia National, and Bruce Berkowitz, founder of Fairholme Capital Management.
The Innocence Project in New York City and Centurion Ministries in Princeton, New Jersey each received $1.1 million from his foundation. Bill has signed The Giving Pledge, pledging to donate at least half of his money to worthy organizations.
In order to promote innovation in entrepreneurship, human rights, healthcare, education, the arts, and urban development, he and his then-wife Karen co-founded The Pershing Square Foundation in 2006.
The Pershing Square Foundation has made more than $400 million in grants and social initiatives since it was founded. The Ackmans appeared on the “Philanthropy 50” list of 2011’s most generous donors published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Bill Ackman Height
Ackman’s height is 1.80m. (5,9″) tall.