Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square named one of world’s top hedge funds

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By Dan Sears

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management has reclaimed a spot on the list of the world’s 20 best-performing hedge funds nine years after falling out of the ranking.

Pershing Square claimed the 20th spot after edging out Louis Bacon’s Moore Capital Management, according to research by LCH Investments.

LCH said that the New York-based fund, which has $17.9 billion in assets under management, had a “remarkable comeback” in 2023, generating $3.5 billion in net gains for the year.

The firm, which Ackman founded in 2004, fell off the list in 2015 after suffering a string of costly losses related to its bold investments in Procter & Gamble, JCPenney and dietary supplement company Herbalife Nutrition — resulting in $600 million, $500 million and $760 million in losses, respectively — according to LCH’s findings that were earlier reported on by MarketWatch.

But over the past three years, Pershing Square has banked some $12.3 billion in returns — roughy two-thirds of all the gains it’s generated since its inception.

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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management claimed the 20th spot on LCH Investments’ top 20 ranking of the best-performing hedge funds after 2023 was described as a “remarkable comeback” for the firm. REUTERS
The 20 firms on LCH’s list collectively brought in $67 billion worth of net gains in 2023 alone.

Thus, Ackman’s firm is back on LCH’s ranking of top-performing funds, which this year collectively outsized net gains worth $67 billion in 2023 alone — an impressive 31% of all gains made across the hedge fund sector last year, according to MarketWatch.

Meanwhile, 57-year-old Ackman — whose net worth was pegged by Forbes at $4.1 billion — lately has campaigned against former Harvard President Claudine Gay following reports of mounting on-campus antisemitism in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Gay resigned earlier this month following criticism of her answers at a congressional hearing on antisemitism and charges that her academic writing contained examples of improperly credited work. Ackman has been accused of “bullying” Gay into stepping down from the position — to which he countered that his fortune affords him the ability “to speak the truth.”

On LCH’s top 20 ranking, Citadel, headed by hedge fund kingpin Ken Griffin, nabbed the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row.

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Ken Griffin’s Citadel topped LCH’s list for the second year in a row. Before nabbing the No. 1 spot, Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates sat atop 19 other high-performing hedge funds. REUTERS

Unsurprisingly, the firm also posted the highest overall gains since its founding in 1990: $74 billion.

In jumping to the top, Citadel unseated Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, which sits in the fourth spot on LCH’s 2023 ranking.

Bridgewater lost $2.6 billion last year — the worst showing among the top 20 — as Dalio worked to distance himself from an explosive exposé.

The book, titled “The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend,” which hit bookstores in November, described the 74-year-old billionaire as a sharp-elbowed boss who obsessed over his so-called “radical transparency” mantra — and used it to solve what became known internally as the “piss case” after finding pee on the floor in the men’s bathroom.

Dalio this year was the subject of an explosive book that described him as a sharp-elbowed boss who relentlessly reiterated his “radical transparency” mantra. ST. MARTIN’S PRESS

Aside from Bridgewater, Caxton, a New York City-based hedge fund with $12 billion under management, was the only other firm among LCH’s 20 that posted a loss.

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Chris Hohn’s The Children’s Investment Fund Management boasted the greatest gains in 2023, per LCH, banking net gains worth $12.9 billion.

As a result, TCI jumped seven places higher, rising from 14th place in 2022 to No. 7 in 2023.

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