Reporters are trying to figure out whether or not Shane Dinneen, the Pershing Square analyst who worked on the fund’s famous Herbalife short, is still with the firm.
The question was first raised about a month ago when anonymous Twitter user @TheSkeptic21 — who tweets constantly about Herbalife — posted on his blog a theory that Dinneen was no longer at Pershing. (TheSkeptic21 later updated the blog emphasising that he didn’t think Dinneen was “fired”, but that he didn’t think he was physically in the office.)
From @TheSkeptic21’s blog (emphasis ours):
To be accurate I guess “fired” may be a little “technical”, but I believe Shane has NOT been in the Pershing Square Offices. Leave of absence, break, vacation, lacuna, interval, hiatus, time apart; whatever conversation Bill may have had with Shane, I’m sure he let Shane know “It’s not you it’s me.” That being said I believe Shane Dinneen and Pershing Square are lovers no more. And really let’s face it, it’s not Shane**.
Dinneen was the analyst assigned to do the research before the hedge fund put on its massive Herbalife short.
Bill Cohan reported in Vanity Fair that Ackman “turned the Herbalife idea over to two of his employees, Shane Dinneen, a young Harvard graduate — who bears an uncanny resemblance to Conan O’Brien — and to Mariusz Adamski, whom Ackman had met on the tennis court and then hired as an intern. The two read public documents, reviewed old lawsuits, watched strange selling videos, and learned about Herbalife’s bizarre, charismatic founder, Mark Hughes…”
When Ackman first revealed his short, Dinneen got to stand on stage with him at the Special Sohn event and help deliver the 342-slide presentation on Herbalife.
So far, the short hasn’t played out in Pershing’s favour. The hedge fund has racked up hundreds of millions in paper losses.
And now we have Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino is asking the question — Is Dinneen still at Pershing Square?
Pershing Square’s public relations’ firm didn’t immediately respond to Gasparino’s requests for comment. That’s even after he publicly called them out on Twitter.
When Gasparino got on the phone with Dinneen’s secretary, she said that she’d look at his calendar and try to get him on the phone, Gasparino Tweeted.
It took a day for Rubenstein to finally tell Gasparino that they had no comment on Dinneen.
We’ve posted his Tweets below:
For what it’s worth, we’ve also asked Pershing’s PR people if Dinneen still physically works at the office and haven’t gotten a response.
Either way, the last person who’s going to drop this story is Charlie Gasparino — so we’ll keep you posted.