2. Brett Breaks Out
Carl Icahn cemented his iconic status in 2013 by breaking Bill Ackman and dominating Michael Dell as he tried to buy back his namesake computer company. Next year, however, Carls kid Brett will be Wall Streets breakout star.
And what will Brett's first order of business be in 2014?
Bouncing his father out of the boardroom of course!
We briefly saw the schism between father and son in October when Icahn Enterprises (IEP) unloaded a chunk of its Netflix (NFLX) stake from its $31 billion hedge fund for an $800 million profit. The original idea to purchase the stock came from Brett, 34, who started managing money for his dad in August 2012 when Carl handed him $3 billion to invest in small and mid-cap companies (Brett could have gotten a really cool bicycle from his pop, but smartly chose the cash instead). Brett's portfolio, Sargon, is co-managed with Icahn Enterprises portfolio manager David Schechter and supervised by Carl himself.
As for Netflix, Brett called the video on-demand company at the time one of the great consumer bargains of our time," and was clearly against selling the shares.
His 77-year old activist investor dad, nevertheless, overruled his upstart son out of hand. Said Carl in an SEC filing: "When you are lucky and/or smart enough to have made a total return of 457% in only 14 months it is time to take some of the chips off the table."
Think about it. If your Dad -- billionaire or not -- upstaged you like that for the entire financial world to see, how would you feel? Pretty crummy huh?
We surmise that the Netflix rift probably wasnt the first between the pair, and, knowing the elder Icahns cantankerous nature, probably wont be the last. Thats why we believe Brett will try to emancipate himself from his fathers yoke via a boardroom coup sooner rather than later.
Brett's investing tryout with Sargon ends when Carl Icahn turns 80 in 2016. Frankly, we dont think hell stick around that long, especially if Carl continues with his Father Knows Best braggadocio. Expect Bretts uprising by next summer.