(Bloomberg) -- Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings Ltd. named Ryan Israel as chief investment officer as part of the fund’s succession planning.
Ackman, 56, will continue as chief executive officer and portfolio manager, retaining control over ultimate decision making. The move addresses what the billionaire investor calls “pie truck risk” -- which is if he looks the wrong way when crossing the street and gets “smooshed” by a pie truck.
“I don’t believe in a committee approach to investing where a majority vote determines each portfolio decision. At the end of the day, someone needs to make the decision and be held accountable,” Ackman wrote in a letter to shareholders. If a pie truck were to “run me over tomorrow, Ryan would be my choice to manage the portfolio.”
Israel joined Pershing Square from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in 2009, making him the longest tenured member of Pershing’s team. He has been unofficially serving in the role for some time, said Ackman, who also praised Israel’s “exemplary character” and called him a “once-in-a-generation talent as an investor.”
“My decision to announce Ryan as CIO should in no way suggest to you that I am heading for the hills,” Ackman added. “I love this business and intend to stay active until they carry me out, and I am a heavy lift.”
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