Billionaire investor and Pershing Square Capital Management founder Bill Ackman has named Ryan Israel as the chief investment officer of his hedge fund Pershing Square Holdings Ltd.
But that doesn’t mean Ackman plans to cede control over his hedge fund’s investment strategy any time soon, that is unless meets his untimely demise by the hands of a reckless pie truck driver. Ackman, who made the announcement in Pershing Square Holdings’ interim midyear financial report, said he will continue as CEO and portfolio manager with continued control over the ultimate decision-making.
“My decision to announce Ryan as CIO should in no way suggest to you that I am heading for the hills,” Ackman said. “But if the pie truck were to run me over tomorrow, Ryan would be my choice to manage the portfolio.”
Israel has been with Pershing Square since March 2009 from Goldman Sachs, where he had been an investment banking analyst for just under two years.
Ackman called Israel “a once-in-a-generation talent as an investor, not just in equities, but also in macro instruments.” He also said he chose Israel because he “is an excellent leader, teacher, communicator, and partner, and has the respect of each member of the investment team.” Israel is also the longest-tenured member of the Pershing team, Ackman said.
“He has had the greatest opportunity to experience our profoundest successes and failures in dramatically different market environments and to learn from them,” said Ackman. “He has also had the opportunity to train most of our team members in our approach to investing.” He added that Israel “has already for some time been unofficially serving in this role.”