Bill Ackman Can’t Help That He’s Awesome and People Want to Get Close to Him


Pershing Square's Bill Ackman may have a reputation for being arrogant, but, as Reuters can't help but notice, he has a lot to be cocky about. There's his "striking figure" — six foot three in what is, let's face it, a short man's business — and the "shock of grey hair" that, goddamn it, reporter Matthew Goldstein is dying to run his fingers through. Plus, beneath all of the brash rhetoric, the guy has a softer side. For instance, he has been helping Cory Booker set up meetings with moneymen like himself "to bring Wall Street closer to the gritty streets of Newark," a fact you would never know unless you read the interview Ackman did with the international news organization. Because Ackman isn't an attention seeker. Truly. Attention embarrasses him.

He can't help it — the press just comes after him. "Given the nature of what we do, we can't stay out of the headlines," Ackman said. See:

"At this week's Value Investing Congress in New York, where hundreds of investors paid thousands of dollars to get investing tips, Ackman was the main attraction. He was greeted by attendees like a rock star — the investing world's version of Elvis, the glitzy Las Vegas version. Aspiring hedge fund managers stormed him after he was finished speaking, seeking autographs and pictures. Blushing, Ackman mumbled 'this is embarrassing,' but he obliged just the same."

Special report: What if Elvis ran a hedge fund? [Reuters]