Pershing Square Considers Public Fund Listing—Eventually

Dec 6 2007 | 8:25am ET

William Ackman is intrigued by raising permanent capital, but don’t expect his Pershing Square Capital Management to rush to the markets.

“The natural evolution at some point is that I believe our fund will be publicly traded,” Ackman told the audience at an activist hedge fund conference in New York yesterday. “It would give us more staying power and credibility with management. If we had permanent capital I think it would be good for investors and good for us.”

But that’s not reason enough to follow other hedge funds into the public markets just yet, as Ackman added, “the timing is not right now.”

Ackman said he is not considering listing his firm, New York-based Pershing Square, itself, as Fortress Investment Group, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Man Group have done. Instead, he would seek to raise a new fund for the $6 billion manager on the public markets.

At the same conference, hedge fund lawyer Paul Roth told participants that the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing whether banks and other investors are using their hedge fund investments to share insider information.

Roth, whose firm Schulte Roth & Zabel co-sponsored the conference, said he has represented hedge funds who have been questioned by the agency about their investors. He said the SEC thinks public company investors may be investing in hedge funds to discover their strategies, which may in turn impact stock prices.

“The SEC is concerned that there is an underground flow of inside information,” Roth said.

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