Bill Ackman Seeing Rapid Investor Redemptions

After three years of poor performance, Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management LP is losing investors at a clip and, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “facing a future that would no longer include managing a private hedge fund.”

The Blackstone Group LP has been withdrawing cash from the fund, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset-management group has stopped recommending the fund, the article reports. Pershing’s assets have fallen from $20 billion in July 2015—before Pershing’s failed bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.–to $8.2 billion. When Ackman bet against Herbalife Ltd., the article says, “its stock shot up.”

Pershing isn’t the only fund to experience drawdowns, the article says, adding that underperformance in recent years has called into question the high fees hedge fund investors are paying “when cheap options that mimic the stock market have become more popular. That has led to redemptions from big names across the industry.”

Still, the article says Ackman is expressing confidence in his portfolio “and expects performance will improve,” adding that the firm is buying back $300 million in stock, with Ackman and his partners planning to purchase an additional $300 million.  The firm is moving its headquarters to a smaller space in Manhattan and, the article reports, “Mr. Ackman is paring staff, stepping back personally from investor relations and isn’t seeking to replace departing money.”