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.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


Liked What You Read? Join Equities.com as a contributor and get eyeballs on your content FOR FREE!

Results for jcp
Stockaholics
28 Mar 15 11:08:18
Our Stock Tips Have Gained Over 230% Within 2 Days! Huge News: http://t.co/FW1zCkmOE6 $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Greg David
28 Mar 15 10:43:35
http://t.co/RMvVXnJDpv does trade alerts differently than anyone else. Its super cool. $OIBR $JCP $EAPH $BBEP $MNKD
MarketChartPattern
28 Mar 15 10:24:50
$IBM $X $CMI $XOM $INTC $JCP key levels and patterns for next week #trading #Swingtrades http://t.co/nrFQP84ywB http://t.co/kXfVViZqNR
Trading Alpha
28 Mar 15 09:54:37
$SPY, $AAPL, $AA, $AMZN, $APA, $ADSK, $CSX, $EOG, $XLF, $FE, $JCP, $YELP Entries and Levels: https://t.co/L2A7ASCiTU
StockenheimerSchmidt
28 Mar 15 09:40:39
$RCGP tripled in value within 2 days as of yesterdays high! high! Big News: http://t.co/RWkbXZLnwm $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Stock Rocket
28 Mar 15 08:53:45
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Picks Gained Over 1485%! Huge Update: http://t.co/cDuleLngkJ $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Penny Stockington
28 Mar 15 08:28:29
Our Penny Stock Pick On $RCGP Gained As Much As 236% In 2 Days! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/22aEoRrPYm $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Penny Stock Secret
28 Mar 15 08:04:31
This Service Made 20,000% Gains In the Last Month! Subscribe Here http://t.co/SVqoMkrw2z .. $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Bidness Etc
28 Mar 15 06:41:22
Evercore Thinks J C Penney Company Inc Is A Sell - http://t.co/xojCvlgleG $JCP http://t.co/y9FuxHppe5
The Legacy News
28 Mar 15 06:12:24
J C Penney Company Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Zacks $JCP http://t.co/z5Hvyx524K
Breaking News
28 Mar 15 06:10:02
$JCP $SHLD: Here's Why Evercore Thinks JC Penney Company Inc (JCP) Is A Sell: http://t.co/ezf9f8I3MB
Ophir Gottlieb
28 Mar 15 05:34:50
$SHLD vs. $JCP vs. $JWN vs. $KSS Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/PSzbzmuQN6
Capital Market Labs
28 Mar 15 02:02:14
$JWN vs. $DLTR vs. $DDS vs. $JCP Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/WFOYgvmD9t
StockenheimerSchmidt
28 Mar 15 01:58:21
$RCGP tripled in value within 2 days as of yesterdays high! high! Big News: http://t.co/RWkbY02YnU $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Penny Stockington
28 Mar 15 01:25:45
Our Penny Stock Pick On $RCGP Gained As Much As 236% In 2 Days! Get Our Next Pick Early: http://t.co/22aEoRaezM $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Stock Rocket
28 Mar 15 00:18:10
Our Penny Stock Newsletter Picks Gained Over 1485%! Huge Update: http://t.co/cDuleLERch $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
Seeking Alpha Alerts
27 Mar 15 22:55:15
@loutocco $JCP J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/NAIMjodLTe
Capital Market Labs
27 Mar 15 21:22:13
$SHLD vs. $JWN vs. $JCP vs. $M Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/6g8184E8h5
Navin Jay
27 Mar 15 20:59:38
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Andre Smith
27 Mar 15 20:51:10
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
JonnyP(aradeez)
27 Mar 15 20:36:57
Who wants to short $JCP? THIS GUY! Ayo @SureTraders hook a brotha up
Jason Olive
27 Mar 15 20:34:50
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Alpha Maven
27 Mar 15 20:31:44
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
J. Wes
27 Mar 15 20:31:02
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
NASDAQ
27 Mar 15 20:30:15
$JCP - J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/h2ntcYqL1y
C Scott-Finnigan
27 Mar 15 20:30:15
$JCP - J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/TLee5YhiCf
Stocks News&Markets
27 Mar 15 20:30:14
$JCP - J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/ScB1kB51Dh
StockNewsWires
27 Mar 15 20:25:02
$JCP: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods (JCP): http://t.co/jE3gYeJ1mG
awolam
27 Mar 15 20:24:03
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Víctor
27 Mar 15 20:20:57
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Chris Fry
27 Mar 15 20:20:36
"@SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/LLg1e20zO2 $JCP" @JackWelchMBA
Chris Fry
27 Mar 15 20:20:24
RT @SeekingAlpha: J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Long & Short Ideas
27 Mar 15 20:15:57
J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/epKGlA78wO $JCP
Quantpost Service
27 Mar 15 20:15:57
$JCP News: "J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods $JCP" http://t.co/V20kdqWt5f Quote: https://t.co/ScXQIeXP84
Seeking Alpha
27 Mar 15 20:15:57
J.C. Penney Looks To Be Almost Out Of The Woods http://t.co/4sbL14XiZn $JCP
Ophir Gottlieb
27 Mar 15 19:34:50
$SHLD vs. $KSS vs. $M vs. $JCP Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/PFPRCfvpSU
Capital Market Labs
27 Mar 15 18:42:14
$JWN vs. $JCP vs. $DG vs. $DLTR Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/7bEnXHcp2e
US Banking News
27 Mar 15 16:27:58
J C Penney Company’s “Hold” Rating Reiterated at Zacks $JCP http://t.co/OFuqV5sEtY
Ticker Report
27 Mar 15 16:26:24
J C Penney Company’s “Hold” Rating Reiterated at Zacks $JCP http://t.co/04X1dNvfMO
SmallCaps
27 Mar 15 15:48:23
Tip #4 How to identify a HOT SECTOR? http://t.co/ewe2BDWPGF $UGAZ $JCP $PBYI $UNG $DGLY
Sleek Money
27 Mar 15 15:35:21
J C Penney Company’s “Hold” Rating Reaffirmed at Zacks $JCP http://t.co/ORMpVTXPER
WKRB News
27 Mar 15 15:17:28
J C Penney Company’s Hold Rating Reiterated at Zacks $JCP http://t.co/2ccOPALue3
Capital Market Labs
27 Mar 15 14:42:17
$DDS vs. $BONT vs. $BIG vs. $JCP Compared Across 9 Critical Measures Chart: http://t.co/V2w7LvC834
John Kapihe
27 Mar 15 13:59:07
RT @TradingAlpha11: $JCP Short Entry: 7.55; would not hold overnight though http://t.co/Y61B8rXJS2
Trading Alpha
27 Mar 15 13:54:42
$JCP Short Entry: 7.55; would not hold overnight though http://t.co/Y61B8rXJS2
Cabin Parker
27 Mar 15 10:44:40
$JCP Don't be fooled people. This is a gift! https://t.co/t4VZdMnL94
Stockaholics
27 Mar 15 10:32:25
Our Stock Tips Have Gained Over 230% In Less Than 24 Hours! Huge News: http://t.co/FW1zCkmOE6 $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
1 TRADER
27 Mar 15 10:28:36
fwiw $JCP $TRIP Calls are basically breakeven. + or -, 1%-20%, I don't even count as gain or loss.
StockenheimerSchmidt
27 Mar 15 09:57:36
$RCGP Has More Than Tripled In Value In The Past 2 Days! Big News: http://t.co/RWkbXZLnwm $JCP $AQUM $WSGI
M F M
27 Mar 15 09:50:46
$JCP volume way down, shorts hoping for buyers to cover, nobody hiome. Easter bunny coming soon along with Q1 sales #'s = positive JCP
				
				
  +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.