Bill Ackman at Pershing: He’s really pushing it

August 16, 2019 | Hedge Funds
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Ackman’s golden streak sees Pershing up 45.3% in the first half of 2019

Bill Ackman is having a heck of a year. The S&P500 is up 17.35% through June 30. Meanwhile, the hedge fund manager’s Pershing Square Holdings rose 45.3%.

This, despite 2019 being the best annual start for the index since 1997.

Bill Ackman’s key winners

Ackman’s investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management manages Pershing Square Holdings’ portfolio.

Investments in stocks such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Starbucks, Howard Hughes, and Restaurant Brands International have been killer picks.

Gains on these stocks for the first half-year of 2019 are 68.29%, 42.68%, 33.25%, and 34.34% respectively.

Ackman is an activist investor – the kind that buys a large stake in a company and pressurizes the incumbent management to make operational changes in the business to improve the performance of the stock.

Chipotle a classic example of activism

In February 2018, after coming under pressure from investors including Ackman, Chipotle replaced founder Steve Ells as chief executive, bringing in fast food veteran Brian Niccol.

This past May, Ackman wrote to shareholders on the “significant progress” at Chipotle under Brian Niccol, citing strong same-store sales and transaction growth.

Bill Ackman en route to solid incentives?

Bill Ackman will earn an incentive of 16% on any returns above 50%. That milestone is just 5 percentage points away.

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