Hedge fund legend William Ackman is gathering funds for a new closed-end fund in an unusual way: he’s going to the public stock market.
According to a report in the New York Times’ DealBook, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management is looking to raise several billion dollars to list the new fund on the London Stock Exchange, possibly as soon as this summer.
Hedge funds typically raise funds privately. By going to the public markets, Ackman is creating a situation where the management company is not beholden to redemption requests from investors. They would be acting as activist investors, according to the DealBook report. However, unlike in a regular hedge fund, investors would be able to sell shares on a public market whenever they wish.
DealBook notes that by restricting the ability of investors to cash out, the fund managers are given more leeway to take losses and make long plays. Currently, a downturn frequently results in nervous investors leaving the fund, restricting the managers’ options.