Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bill Ackman on hiring...

An interesting answer from his interview with Graham & Doddsville:
G&D: You mentioned some of the larger private equity firms as being places where you look for talent. Do you have a preference for people who have looked at businesses on the private side? 
BA: This year we've made two investments – Allergan at beginning of the year and Zoetis at the end of year. That's a very different pace of investment when compared with your typical long-only hedge fund or mutual fund firm. We have to find people who are comfortable spending a lot of time researching and analyzing, looking for the one thing out of many that's going to be interesting.
At many hedge funds, people are idea junkies. It's the idea of the week. That's why private equity tends to be a better background for us. A private equity investor might spend a whole year working on a deal and if they are not the high bidder, they don't get it. Whereas here, you might spend a lot of time working on something, but if we want to make the investment, we can. We have to pay the market price, but we don't have to be the high bidder per se
For a person with a private equity background, it's a very easy transition. We've never really hired anyone from a hedge fund. Effectively, our approach is private equity without buying control.