Ready, Set, Fight! Here Are 9 Of The All-Time Nastiest Feuds In Finance

Ackman Icahn

Photo: Photoshop by Business Insider

With big money and a lot of reputation at stake, it’s no surprise that disagreements and quarrels have broken out in the world of high finance.And despite the veil of secrecy that surrounds many figures within the financial industry, there have been some high-powered individuals that have brought their private matters and personal relationships into the public spotlight.

So from seven-year old battles involving lawyers and millions of dollars to small quips that made the financial world gasp, we rounded up some of the most well known feuds in the financial industry.

Dan Loeb vs. Ken Griffin

In 2005, Citadel founder Griffin's poaching of New York hedge fund employees caught the eye of Third Point's Dan Loeb. Griffin, who charges a higher management fee than traditional hedge funders, was allegedly luring the employees away with offers of higher salaries.

Loeb, who is known for his scathing letters to CEOs when he feels that companies he has invested in are not doing well, took up his poison pen and wrote Griffin a scathing letter. In it, he called Citadel a 'gulag' and forbade him from approaching any Third Point employees under any circumstances. He also told Griffin matter of factly that Citadel was 'over-rated' and that Griffin does not know how to manage people.

Here's our favourite bit from the letter:

I understand your need to hire employees from other firms, something that Third Point has not had to do based on the fact that, unlike yourself, I actually enjoy and have talent in investing and am able to nurture others within my organisation whom I hire from wide ranging disciplines such as graduate schools, private equity firms and medicine.

Source: Insider Monkey

Bill Ackman vs. Carl Icahn

It started with a 'forgettable' deal in 2004, and became a famous feud that spanned seven years and racked up millions in dollars in lawyer fees between two activist investors.

In 2003, when Ackman's former investment firm was in trouble and he was being investigated by the SEC, he cold-called Icahn and asked him to buy his shares of Hallwood Realty, a real estate company trading for about $60, but Ackman said was worth $140. Icahn agreed to buy the shares for $80, with a deal that he would split the profit with Ackman if he sold the shares within 3 years. When Hallwood merged with another company for $137/share in 2004, Ackman called Icahn for his share of the profit. Well, Icahn reasoned that he didn't sell the shares in the merger even though he did not own them anymore.

A legal battle ensued with poisonous words, where Ackman called Icahn a 'shakedown artist' whose word was 'useless' and also convinced another investor to refuse Icahn's money.

Ackman ultimately won the fight, and Icahn paid out $9 million.

Source: DealBook

Jon Corzine vs. Hank Paulson

It's no secret that Corzine, who served as Goldman Sachs CEO from 1994 to 1999, was ousted from his position by then-COO Hank Paulson. Paulson later served in Goldman's top spot until 2006, when he left to become Treasury Secretary for President George W. Bush.

But when Paulson and Corzine ruled Goldman together, a civil war brewed between the two that made their reign at the bank an 'unmitigated disaster,' as Goldman chronicler Bill Cohan wrote. A lot of enmity stemmed from a class of personalities, and Paulson was often irritated by Corzine's ambitions to make the firm bigger.

Source: BI, Vanity Fair

Jamie Dimon vs. Mark Carney

The JP Morgan head's tiff with Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney started when Dimon lashed out at Carney when the Canadian expressed he was in favour of more stringent Basel III regulations during a private meeting at a International Monetary Fund Conference in Washington D.C. last September.

According to witnesses, Dimon 'launched a tirade' against Carney, calling the regulations discriminative against Americans.

Turns out, there's also a chance negative sentiment between the two may have begun brewing in 2010, when Carney used a quip alluding to Dimon and his daughter at a public speech in Berlin.

Source: BI

David Einhorn vs. Bruce Berkowitz

The battle between Einhron and Berkowitz began over Florida land developer St. Joe. Einhorn had publicized a short position he had in the company in late 2010, believing the struggling company was overvalued. That didn't sit too well with Berkowitz, who had recently upped his stake in the company to 29% and was trying to shake up management at St. Joe to improve its performance.

Source: Forbes

Christine Lagarde vs. Bob Diamond

The current IMF chief and Barclays CEO had an infamous tussle at the World Economic Forum in 2011, when the two disagreed over the Eurozone crisis. Diamond said he believed the crisis would continue to progress, while Lagarde--then France's Finance Minister--said she believed the area had stabilised.

Lagarde openly confronted Diamond with an 'I disagree' said pointedly to the Barclays head during a panel.

A year later, we all know who was ultimately right.

Source: WSJ

Jamie Dimon vs. Sandy Weill

The relationship between JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and former Citigroup head Sandy Weill has been called one of the 'most complicated personal relationships in modern American capitalism.'

The two began working together when Weill convinced Dimon to come work for him at American Express after business school over Goldman Sachs because he would have 'more fun.' Together, the two were credited with building the Citigroup banking empire together. But it all came to an abrupt halt when Dimon left Citigroup abruptly.

Weill and Dimon have both confirmed that Dimon was fired. It seemed there was a clash of personalities near the end of Dimon's tenure at Citi, as Weill felt that Dimon was becoming over ambitious.

Wing Chau vs. Michael Lewis & Steve Eisman

Wing Chau, the founder Harding Advisory LLC, sued Michael Lewis and Steve Eisman over the book 'The Big Short' in 2011. He claimed that Lewis' book about the 2008 mortgage market crash 'falsely depicts him as one of the 'villains' behind the U.S. financial crisis.'

The lawsuit points to a passage that depicted a conversation between him and Eisman--told from Eisman's point of view.

In BI's opinion, though, 'The Big Short' really made Chau seem like a dummy--because he was the one buying up the subprime mortgage CDOs that many hedge funders were shorting and made billions off of.

Source: BI

Donald Trump vs. Carl Icahn

Now meet former Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag, he'll probably start a fight with you the minute he opens his mouth.

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