Ackman Sees Activist Wave In Europe

Oct 30 2013 | 11:47am ET

Europe will catch up with the U.S. in terms of shareholder activism, one of the U.S.'s most prominent shareholder activists said.

Pershing Square Capital Management's William Ackman told an audience at Oxford University's Said Business School that shareholder activism in Europe is about 10 years behind the U.S., where he said corporate boards are more open to suggestions from investors. But that is destined to change, as pensioners seeking better returns "drive shareholder-run activism."

"I think it's going to happen," Ackman said.

Ackman, whose Pershing Square Foundation has endowed scholarships to the Said school, also touched on his two most controversial investments during his speech, nutritional supplements company Herbalife and retailer J.C. Penney Co.

The hedge fund manager said he still believed that Herbalife was a pyramid scheme and "will be shut down" or "collapse." Herbalife this week announced its 16th-straight quarterly profit growth.

And despite losing $500 million on his Penney's investment, Ackman was no less confident, saying that his plans to turn the company around were "right"—although the execution could have been better. Ackman said he was hampered by an uncooperative board, and that the experience taught him not to "go on a board and have one of 11 seats."


In Depth

Whisky Business: The Ultimate Liquid Alternative Investment

Sep 15 2014 | 7:02am ET

David Robertson knows his single-malt whisky—he was the Master Distiller at the...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

Volkered: How Financial Sector Reforms are Creating Opportunities for Hedge Funds

Sep 16 2014 | 11:28am ET

New regulations have dramatically curtailed proprietary trading activity in investment...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

September 2014 Cover

The London Whale: Rogue risk management

Credit default swaps brought down the London Whale and cost JPMorgan $6.2 billion. Here is how it happened.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.