Bill Ackman's Letter About The Analyst Who Designed His Herbalife Short Is Incredibly Classy

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital, sent a letter to investors last night regarding one of Pershing Square’s young analysts who has left the firm.

His letter was extremely classy.

See, for about a month, the blogosphere and Twittershpere had been wondering if Shane Dinneen, the analyst tasked with putting together the hedge fund’s famous Herbalife short, was still with Pershing Square.

The bet against Herbalife has been a huge money loser, and everyone had been wondering about Dinneen’s fate.

Ackman’s letter confirmed that Dinneen had resigned from Pershing a while ago.

Ackman refers to Dinneen as “one of the most talented investment analysts” he had ever with with and someone he holds in “high regard”.

Dinneen — a tall, red-headed Texas native/Harvard graduate — spent a lot of time working on the Herbalife short thesis. In December 2012, he presented the 342-slide presentation alongside Ackman. That’s something that most 28 year-olds in the industry have never done before.

So far, the Herbalife shorts hasn’t played out in Ackman’s favour. Pershing Square has amassed hundreds of millions in paper losses. Still, Ackman writes that he remains confident his his belief that Herbalife operates as a “pyramid scheme.”

He also said that Dinneen is welcome to come back to Pershing Square at anytime.

We’ve posted Ackman’s letter below: (Emphasis ours)

Dear Pershing Square Investor,

For several months, Shane Dinneen, a member of our investment team since late 2007, has expressed interest in leaving Pershing Square to pursue other interests. As Shane is one of the most talented investment analysts I have ever worked with and someone I hold in high regard, I have done my best to convince him to stay with the firm. Recently, he decided it was time for him to move on to areas of his own interest outside of activist investing.

Shane has been a great contributor to Pershing Square. Shane did superb work on GGP, Burger King, and
most recently Herbalife in addition to many other successful investments. As our Herbalife investment has moved from financial analysis to a regulatory and legal execution, Shane has not been leading this investment for some time. Roy Katzovicz, our Chief Legal Officer, and David Klafter, Senior Counsel, have led the Herbalife regulatory effort over the past year and have made significant progress.

We wish Shane success in his future endeavours and have let him know that we will keep a seat open for him on the investment team if and when he decides to return. Shane intends to remain a meaningful investor in Pershing Square.

With respect to Herbalife, we remain convinced that the Company has operated an illegal pyramid scheme since its founding. We are encouraged by the recent regulatory developments concerning the Company.



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