Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman

Formal First Name
William (Bill)
1966 - present

Bill Ackman is a prominent hedge fund manager and executive known for his eccentric investment strategies and market bets. Ackman is the Founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund with $16 billion in assets under management. Ackman has gained widespread attention for his successful bets on various companies and high-profile activist campaigns. He rose to fame for his short of bond insurer MBIA and his rescue of mall operator, General Growth. Prior to forming Pershing Square, he co-founded Gotham Partners Management, an investment adviser that managed public and private equity hedge fund portfolios. In addition to his investment activities, Ackman is also known for his philanthropy.


  • Wendy's (2004). Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management took a large stake in fast-food chain Wendy’s and successfully pressured management to make changes, including a spin-off of Tim Hortons into a standalone publicly traded company. 

  • General Growth Properties (2008). During the height of the global financial crisis, Ackman invested heavily in General Growth. His investment played a crucial role in helping GGP restructure its debt and rescue it from near-collapse. 

  • J.C. Penney (2010). The investment in J.C. Penney serves as a high-profile failure in Ackman’s portfolio, highlighting the risks associated with investing in troubled companies.

  • Canadian Pacific Railway (2011). Ackman led an activist campaign to shake up the management and strategy of the Canadian Pacific Railway. His efforts resulted in significant changes, leading to increased shareholder value that has earned his firm some $2.6 billion on its investment.

  • Herbalife (2012). One of Ackman’s most famous and controversial investments was a massive short position on Herbalife. In 2018, after a five-year investment, Ackman dumped his Herbalife shares and lost close to $1 billion.