William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management
Most of press surrounding Pershing Square Capital Management's William Ackman centers on the hedge funder's muddled turnaround bet on struggling retailer
(JCP - Get Report)
; however, quietly, 2012 turned out to be a banner year for other investments such as
General Growth Properties
Meanwhile, after pushing the likes of
to embrace franchising and a much less risky balance sheet, the sometimes activist investor teamed up on a takeover and IPO of
Burger King Worldwide
, which has performed strongly.
While, Ackman's array of skills mirrors the hostile, restructuring and M&A plays that Carl Icahn's been known to make, he nevertheless has a long-term value investing style that is of the Warren Buffett mold. Still, Ackman's been known to criticize the takeover premium that Buffett oftentimes pays to put a company within Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio.
Were Buffett or Icahn to hit retirement, Ackman may be a helpful proxy on the investing zeitgeist. General Growth, Ackman's best investment in recent years, was a distressed real estate deal made at the nadir of the financial crisis. Burger King and J.C. Penney meanwhile are a mix of retail turnaround investments, with a side of real estate as well.
With a recent hostile push at
Procter & Gamble
, Ackman's set his sights on a Buffett-like consumer products giant and winning board seats on Canadian Pacific - one of the largest corporations in Canada - signals the hedge funder's clout.
Look to Ackman to wield an array of investing strategies similar to Carl Icahn, while having the Buffett-like ability to find a good bargain in any market.