10 Amazing Facts About The Life Of Hedge Fund King Bill Ackman

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Photo: Purdue

You might know that Bill Ackman plays tennis regularly with George Soros.But did you know he’s also rallied with a former Wimbledon champion?

And yes, it’s pretty obvious that the Pershing Square chief is a stellar investor.

But do you know whose investment record he’s trying to beat? And what he’s eating to make sure he does it?

He's played tennis against Andre Agassi

Ackman is an avid tennis player and 'captained the tennis team' at college.

In fact he's even 'played against Andre Agassi, and recently warmed him up for a February match.'

(He also plays regularly with George Soros!)

Source: The Observer

He adheres to a strict diet: no coffee or cheese

When the Observer sat down with Ackman at a cafe, he 'ordered an egg white omelet with spinach and onions, insisting on no cheese even after repeated offers from the waitress. He turned down coffee, as well...'

He has a nutritionist and a personal trainer.

Source: The Observer

He holds the most records on the treadmill and ERG at the Pershing Square gym

He's living healthy in order to beat Warren Buffett's investment record

Bill Ackman gave a single tip to fellow hedge funder and Harvard grad, Whitney Tilson, when he was just starting out: read all of Warren Buffett's investor letters.

Plus, he looks to Buffett for his investment record goals: 'That's why I have to be healthy. It's not just compounding a high rate; it's living a long time. Buffett has a 55-year-old record. I've got a seven-and-a-half-year-old record.'

Read more at the Business Insider >

He is not a corporate raider and hates being compared to Carl Icahn

Both Carl Icahn and Ackman are activist investors 'known for... taking huge stakes in the bluest of blue-chip companies and then agitating for changes.' So the comparison is often made.

But Ackman, 'who considers his work as benevolent and beneficial... hates the comparison to the notorious corporate raider.'

Source: The Observer

He turned Eliot Spitzer from an enemy into a friend

Eliot Spitzer and the SEC began investigating Ackman's old firm, Gotham Partners in 2003, after muni-bond insurer MBIA alleged there was a 'conspiracy to drive down its stock price.'

Funnily, after the scandal had died down, 'Spitzer even turned to him for advice, meeting him at a diner off the Taconic Parkway... Mr. Ackman had prepared a long list of suggestions on how to recapitalize MBIA.'

Source: The Observer

He has a masterful trick for getting people to value his advice: tell them what they DON'T want to hear

According to Ackman: 'If your wife asks you whether she looks good in a dress, and every time you tell her she looks beautiful, she won't believe you. But if you tell her, 'Well ... ,' and then other times, 'Wow, that's a really beautiful dress,' then she really appreciates it. And it's the same thing with friendships and CEOs.'

Source: The Observer

He's a Ferrari man

Ackman 'keeps a rarely driven Ferrari he bought on a lark hidden away at his upstate home.'

Source: The Observer

He gets away with insulting people's appearance, whether he knows them or not

Almost anyone who has met Ackman 'has either been complimented or insulted regarding his or her appearance... He has been known to stop people on the street corner and give them advice...'

An ex-Bloomberg reporter described this insult issue like this: 'Bill's a fixer. He just looks at everything as how can I sort this out, including people, and it can take some people aback. I guess it's like, does he care, or does it just bug him?'

Source: The Observer

He's a good conversationalist because he's been on so many blind dates

Ackman and his wife Karen 'host singles parties at their $26 million Beresford apartment... They are demure, catered affairs with a minimum of alcohol and a maximum of conversation, say former attendees, where 10 married couples bring their 10 most eligible friends.'

Ackman says he's 'yenta'd at least four marriages.'

Source: The Observer

Ackman isn't the only hedge fund titan with an amazing life...

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