What did Bill Ackman do after undergrad and before MBA?

welovesrqfl's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 116

Graduated Harvard College in 1988.
Received MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992.
Starts Gotham Partners in 1992.
After winding down Gotham Partners in 1992, opens Pershing Square Capital.

But does anyone know what he did from 1988-1992? Try to gauge what type of experience/knowledge he attained that enabled him to start a successful L/S HF.

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Comments (26)

Apr 25, 2014

He worked for his dad, apparently.

    • 1
Apr 25, 2014

Yup, commercial real estate brokerage IIRC.

Apr 25, 2014

Isn't it more likely that his success with Gotham Partners was more a function of pedigree, network, talent, timing, and a bit of luck than the 4 years between ugrad and MBA?

Apr 25, 2014

May be but the questions still valid, because you see that gap for a lot of the big guys. Undergrad in x MBA in y. Ok? And what did you do in between if I may ask?

    • 1
Apr 25, 2014
.LSLS.:

Isn't it more likely that his success with Gotham Partners was more a function of pedigree, network, talent, timing, and a bit of luck than the 4 years between ugrad and MBA?

Hmm...

Apr 25, 2014
BlackHat:
.LSLS.:

Isn't it more likely that his success with Gotham Partners was more a function of pedigree, network, talent, timing, and a bit of luck than the 4 years between ugrad and MBA?

Hmm...

If that's the case I'll be glad that I went to a non-target school and my dad works in a factory if/when I launch

Best Response
Apr 25, 2014

Like most guys who start hedge funds in their 20s, the key talent that he possessed that enabled him to start and grow a successful l/s hedge fund was a very rich and well connected father.

    • 3
Apr 25, 2014
RLC1:

Like most guys who start hedge funds in their 20s, the key talent that he possessed that enabled him to start and grow a successful l/s hedge fund was a very rich and well connected father.

Don't be playa hatin' now

Apr 25, 2014

to be fair here, I know a handful of guys who raised PE or hedge funds as well (in the last 2-3 years), and what they all had in common was a similarly wealthy family background and strong network (family/themselves). So, he's not that far off I guess.

Apr 25, 2014
RLC1:

Like most guys who start hedge funds in their 20s, the key talent that he possessed that enabled him to start and grow a successful l/s hedge fund was a very rich and well connected father.

Lol, truly admirable

Apr 25, 2014

Started out with 7 investors that included Michael Porter, Martin Peretz, and the Ziffs

Jan 28, 2016

http://therealdeal.com/2015/10/30/larry-ackman-sol...
Ackman told a story about how he got his start in the business in 1962, when, as a freshly-minted graduate of Harvard Business School, he went to work at his father's business Ackman and Companies.

"There's no such thing as inheriting customers in a services business," he said. "So for the first three or four years I did nothing but cold-call solicitation, going from office to office on what I called my milk route." -Bill Ackman

Jan 30, 2016
makecents:

http://therealdeal.com/2015/10/30/larry-ackman-sol...

Ackman told a story about how he got his start in the business in 1962, when, as a freshly-minted graduate of Harvard Business School, he went to work at his father's business Ackman and Companies.

"There's no such thing as inheriting customers in a services business," he said. "So for the first three or four years I did nothing but cold-call solicitation, going from office to office on what I called my milk route." -Larry Ackman

Fixed that for you. Regardless, still a pretty interesting story.

Feb 24, 2016

I don't really know what he did during his B-School studies (1990-1992), but 2 year gap is not that big. Did you read "Alpha Masters"? There are some statements from Bill Ackman re: his acquired interest in value investing after reading "The Intelligent Investor" and trying to get his first LPs through family friends and later through his wife's friends/network as well.