logo
Sign in or Register

Already a member?

Sign in

Or sign in with your account on:

Not a member yet?

Register
    

A Media Timeline of Controversial Investor Bill Ackman

  +Follow August 23, 2013 8:36AM
Share:
Tickers Mentioned:

If you want to get a conversation going, you might as well do it with a letter titled simply “Mistakes.” That’s what activist investor Bill Ackman did when he admitted that his controversial, high-profile bets for JC Penney (JCP) and against Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) had both misfired, spectacularly.

In the letter, the once high-flying Ackman referred to his failed attempt to turnaround JC Penney by installing a handpicked CEO with no department store experience and making radical, hands-on changes to store policy a “failure.” Ackman resigned from JC Penney's board on Aug. 13, ending his troubled tenure at the retailer in a public, embarassing fashion.

Just prior to writing the letter concerning JC Penney, Ackman defended his other major 2013 blunder, the $300 million (and counting) loss his hedge fund Pershing Square Capital has incurred shorting Herbalife, which he has called a “pyramid scheme” for its multi-tiered marketing system. Ackman claimed he’s making progress on getting federal regulators to take a closer look at the company. But like with JC Penney, it seems now like he's just trying to save face.

The fact is, the investor, once the crown prince of activist investing, has tanked spectacularly, and--especially in the eyes of the media--might be down for good. It hasn't always been this way. When he famousy predicted (and successfulyl shorted) the 2007 financial crash, he was lauded as a visionary and more. But now, with the latetst string of bad bets, it's like Ackman wasn't ever on top to begin with.

Ackman’s own admissions, with letters entitled "Mistakes" stand in stark contrast to his confident, no-hold-barred past as an activist who saw what others didn't. Now, his seesaw contrition and bravado belies uncertainty, and mirrors the investment community’s own waning perception of the divisive investor.

When Ackman is up, he’s up. And when he’s down, people can’t wait to dogpile.  Below is an assembled brief timeline of public perception of Ackman via press snippets:

The Golden Boy Who Predicted the Financial Collapse

New York Times, Dec. 2007

"(Ackman) may be aggressive, he may be over the top, he may not be able to speak in short sentences…  but he's doing the hard work, and thinking the hard thoughts, that (Wall Street regulators) refused to do for far too long.”

A Distinguished Visionary

(Upstart Business Journals Profile, April 22 2009)

Ackman… has had the seminal financial career of the past two decades, which is to say that he’s had the seminal American career of the era…

Ackman up close might be the most winning salesman on Wall Street.

Like Elvis, With a Smarter Portfolio

(Reuters, Oct. 14 2010 Special report: What if Elvis Ran a Hedge Fund?)

In person, Ackman cuts a striking figure, standing at 6' 3" tall with a shock of grey hair. But it is the stature of his fund's performance which is what most draws investors to him.

The Backlash Begins, Albeit With Sarcasm

NY Mag, Oct. 14 2010

Headline: “Bill Ackman Can’t Help That He’s Awesome and People Want to Get Close to Him”

Okay, Ackman Might Be the Same… But He’s Smooth!

Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 10, 2011

(Billionaire investor Carl Icahn) still has the whiff of a fast-buck artist... Ackman's approach is often the same, (but) he… wrap(s) his tactics in a smooth, well-learned politesse.

Not to Mention, the Guy is a Matchmaker

Reuters, July 18 2012

Helping his single friends and acquaintances find a life partner is, however, close to the multi-millionaire’s heart and he’s doing his part to help. And every so often, Ackman and his wife whirl through their Rolodexes and invite their unattached friends to come on over to their place and spend a few hours meeting other singles.

We Still Believe, Bill Ackman

The Guardian, Jan 25 2013

At Ackman's famous investing presentations, in which he invites other money managers to learn why he has turned against a certain company, the investors look at him, wide-eyed and admiring, as if he were a financial messiah.

Maybe it’s Not All Roses

Vanity Fair, April 2013 (quoting Chapman Capital’s Robert Chapman)

(Ackman) seems to look at other members of society, even legends such as Carl Icahn, as some kind of sub-species. The disgusted, annoyed look on his face when confronted by the masses beneath him is like one you’d expect to see [from someone] confronted by a homeless person who hadn’t showered in weeks.

Lest We Forget Though, He’s Still a Hero for Taking on Herbalife…

New York Times Op-Ed, April 2, 2013

Ackman has been heroic in taking on this litigious, well-financed industry (Herbalife.) Not since Jim Chanos went after Enron has a hedge fund manager been willing to question whether a company was actually a criminal enterprise. That takes guts.

While Ackman Ignores His Failures, We Ignore Him…

Forbes, May 8, 2013

As Bill Ackman took the stage on Wednesday at the Ira Sohn Conference in New York, the audience erupted in applause expecting to hear one of the day’s best ideas.  Instead, they spent their time checking emails…

Because Really, The Herbalife Bet is Failing. Hard.

The Street, Aug 10 2013

Sometimes the smartest guy in the room outsmarts himself.

And Now the Schadenfreude

Bloomberg MSG, Aug 10, 2013

Never interfere with an enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.

Results for jcp
Teo Black
19 Apr 14 14:40:07
$V Todays movers to research $JCP $CRM $GLD Check out http://t.co/pKamlpbggd
Svelteei
19 Apr 14 12:08:00
$JCP Why Retail? Why J.C. Penney? http://t.co/EB05kuyxfY
Legend Boulstridge
19 Apr 14 11:22:56
$SIG Are you looking for winners like $JCP $DPZ $SLV #money http://t.co/YudVrXCv2c
Damien S. Faucher
19 Apr 14 11:00:03
$JCP Department Stores: JC Penney Company (NYSE:JCP), Macy's (NYSE:M), Sears ... http://t.co/zVowSXV5Mw
Stock_Tracker
19 Apr 14 08:47:28
J.C. Penney Company Inc (JCP) 7.50 $JCP Final Glance: Department Store Retail companies AP - Thu Apr 17, 5:01P http://t.co/IlIYy7i2mw
Hacktheripper
19 Apr 14 07:45:24
$JCP $10.00 off $25.00 Printable Coupon Good through today. http://t.co/MEtsR8MWuh
Arnulfo Adamson
19 Apr 14 06:29:12
Earnings news on $JCP $EXPD $FE $SSO #liquidity http://t.co/NpHPm87anY
Finance Wire
19 Apr 14 05:39:56
Great #Stock Newsletter on $TRZA $CST $JCP $CLF #equity http://t.co/LFIRKEDU1G
Sky Hunter
19 Apr 14 04:50:31
$DV Free research on $JCP $ABT $PCLN Worth a look http://t.co/loPa1AEkMS
Thor Edeson
19 Apr 14 03:46:21
Are you Investing in $DE $BIG $JCP $RAX #NSE http://t.co/pTL43gvyqF
Gary Rosovsky
19 Apr 14 01:56:29
Seeking the next hot #pennystock $TSN $CNX $JCP $WTW Check out http://t.co/SLX7gdepWd
WallStreet Pennies
19 Apr 14 01:48:39
Dollar$OnPennies: $JCP Gallery View http://t.co/kWEfzSZNBf
Hans Hoskins
19 Apr 14 01:06:35
Todays Stocks you should Watch $JCP $DNB $CPWR $YOD Try this http://t.co/Mkxg3GTA0c
Cinthia Booker
19 Apr 14 00:13:33
Insider Trading updates on $APOL $TWTC $JCP $IBM #financialnews http://t.co/kMtlHDIEH1
S. S.
18 Apr 14 20:45:17
$JCP people are going to gamble on the earnings of this stock? Good luck!
Sky Hunter
18 Apr 14 17:50:03
Todays movers to research $COG $HNT $JCP $QLYS #money http://t.co/ZDs7CdCy42
Stockaholics
18 Apr 14 17:22:15
Our Penny Stock Picks gained 5,000% in 4 months! Get the next Pick Early: http://t.co/5B5saivZk0 $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
12Stocks.com
18 Apr 14 15:06:48
MidCap #Stocks Performance $AF $WBS $NSR $UTIW $FCN $JCP $SXT $WEX $EWBC $ODP $SM $GVA $VAL $HII $DV more@ http://t.co/H27z0IZCEk
CSIMarket.com
18 Apr 14 10:54:41
J. C. Penney $JCP #stock #investing: Company has managed to turn into profitability on declinig sales, eps wa... http://t.co/atLFFd9cC0
12Stocks.com
18 Apr 14 08:51:17
MidCap #Stocks Performance $AF $WBS $NSR $UTIW $FCN $JCP $SXT $WEX $EWBC $ODP $SM $GVA $VAL $HII $DV more@ http://t.co/H27z0IZCEk
Amias Evans
18 Apr 14 08:08:36
Looking for research on $WOOF $JCP $KEY $CSIQ Must see http://t.co/MipEAvZhbP
Enoch Cohen
18 Apr 14 07:46:26
Todays movers to research $JCP $ABT $ETFC $CAG #financialnews http://t.co/PTVE18NzFh
Binary Options Pro
18 Apr 14 07:39:48
RT @Opacityyw: Bearish or Bullish on these #stocks $NLY $CPB $JCP $PCLN #investing http://t.co/1vKDVpGgIp
Liz Goldenberg
18 Apr 14 07:37:05
Investors used 2 buy into retailers like $JCP & $SKS as real-estate plays. Given shift to #Internet shopping (see J&R) what 2 do w/the land?
Small Cap Updates
18 Apr 14 06:52:42
$COO Get research on $JCP $AAPL $AIG #singedinvestor http://t.co/kbnnvUDbf6
The Amazing Seven
18 Apr 14 06:45:20
Get the latest on $JCP $SIVB $RDC $NUAN Click http://t.co/yuluMEMYSP
Silvana Orozco
18 Apr 14 06:35:42
Bearish or Bullish on these #stocks $NLY $CPB $JCP $PCLN #investing http://t.co/1vKDVpGgIp
Insider Trade Alerts
18 Apr 14 06:32:18
$JCP Why Retail? Why J.C. Penney? http://t.co/uxqqKoSzhR
Orson Jagger
18 Apr 14 05:10:20
Buy or sell? $SIAL $JCP $DTE $USD I suggest http://t.co/Kvi2s6uds7
Stock Market News
18 Apr 14 05:01:33
Do you think you should hold $JCP $G $PCYC $AMZN #StockMarket http://t.co/Qhqamq2xBm
Yahaira Landry
18 Apr 14 04:01:28
Buy or sell? $JCP $ITC $APD $USD #overvalued http://t.co/qBNI7WNeNO
senthilnathan karupp
18 Apr 14 03:27:40
$JCP is up 3.31% today, our subscriber’s portfolios are up 20% . http://t.co/tffaUfQ6oZ
Sky Grady
18 Apr 14 02:56:51
Best research on #stocks such s $JCP $DOW $FMC $CADX Must see http://t.co/fPH4kInoYh
Clinton Majors
18 Apr 14 02:37:52
Small-cap stocks making 52-wk highs $BRCD $FHN $JCP $SPY Give it a try http://t.co/F6e7RtsXpl
Darryl Hudson
18 Apr 14 02:23:14
Sick and Tired of losing money on $MOS $JCP $CBSH $GOOG #wallstreet http://t.co/OkqQrm9aET
Beverley Marinoh
18 Apr 14 02:03:37
Buying or selling? $ECL $TRW $JCP $HIT #newsletter http://t.co/H2MotlPyf2
Brenden Black
18 Apr 14 01:05:53
Do you think you should hold $JCP $VMW $OV $LIVE #NASDAQ http://t.co/INwh0ksVdO
Crew Daily
18 Apr 14 00:11:04
#Stocks to hold onto $NLY $LLTC $JCP $S #personalfinance http://t.co/be1EwtwOT9
Stock Herald
17 Apr 14 20:23:07
$JCP: ‘Easter Shift’ Will Leave Some Consumer Stocks With Egg on Face http://t.co/X0HPPDkQ3g
Stock News 24
17 Apr 14 20:19:34
$JCP - ‘Easter Shift’ Will Leave Some Consumer Stocks With Egg on Face -> http://t.co/slNqc6lwJn #stock #stocks #stockaction
bennyrv 
17 Apr 14 20:10:38
¿Alguna similitud entre la gráficas de $HXM, $JCP, $NIHD con la de $VLRS?
Wanetta Zhang
17 Apr 14 19:25:39
Awesome #Stock #Research $JCP $YHOO $MJN $FEYE Give it a try http://t.co/hkkD0lM7c9
Brecken Kingston
17 Apr 14 18:56:29
$SO Are you Bullish on these #stocks $JCP $VRSN $QLYS Check out http://t.co/iJPpzI2d8z
Beverley Marinoh
17 Apr 14 18:46:13
Some Stocks to Watch $JCP $NOW $PRU $IGN #StockMarket http://t.co/rUIwHga0eX
Graysen Hunterth
17 Apr 14 18:04:43
Best research on #stocks such s $FOXA $TFX $JCP $WTW #personalfinance http://t.co/Jj9V66inAv
Major Brown
17 Apr 14 16:20:19
Stocks I'm keeping my Eye on...should you? $PBCT $BIG $JCP $BLOX #wallstreet http://t.co/5ecBxWSadT
12Stocks.com
17 Apr 14 16:01:39
MidCap #Stocks Performance $AF $WBS $NSR $UTIW $FCN $JCP $SXT $WEX $EWBC $ODP $SM $GVA $VAL $HII $DV more@ http://t.co/H27z0IZCEk
Luther Black
17 Apr 14 15:52:47
Get #Pennystock Research on $UA $BHI $JCP $DO #NSE http://t.co/PKLBnO6prC
Pike Gall
17 Apr 14 15:31:24
Do you think you should hold $VFC $ZNGA $JCP $SLW Click http://t.co/kldxav1tOi
Stockaholics
17 Apr 14 14:45:43
Subscribers saw a 2,100% gain on Penny Stocks, in 1 month! Subscribe here: http://t.co/GoDY51A8tq $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
				
				
  +Follow August 23, 2013 8:36AM
Share:

Comments

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

About us

Equities.com is the most advanced interactive online social ecosystem for the financial industry, serving as a resource center and next-generation communication platform that connects self-directed investors with public issuers, market experts, and professional service providers and vendors. Registered members can leverage our exclusive proprietary research tools such as the Small-Cap Stars, which outperformed 90% of all small-cap mutual funds, and robust do-it-yourself E.V.A. research reports. The Equities.com Issuer Dashboard is the ideal tool to communicate and manage investor awareness campaigns to the investment community, as well as to access valuable resources to help your company grow.

Market Data powered by QuoteMedia.
Copyright © QuoteMedia. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of Use.