A Wall Street hedge fund manager has started a fight with ADP management for control of the paycheck processing company.
You’ve probably never heard the name Bill Ackman, but he has a lot to say about how you live. He holds sway over where you shop, what you eat, the medicines and supplements you take. If he’s successful in a boardroom brawl set for next week, he’ll also have a hand in how you get paid.
Ackman owns chunks of Target and JC Penney. He has thrown his weight around at Wendy’s, McDonald’s and most recently Chipotle. He has also taken active interests in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Procter & Gamble and Herbalife. His interests extend into the seeds used to grow your food and the railway that brings it from farm to market. Now he owns more than 8 percent of ADP and wages a war of words against the company’s management team.
A master of the universe
Ackman runs Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund firm worth about $15 billion. That’s big, but hardly the biggest on Wall Street. But the companies Pershing Square scopes out know that the firm’s boss isn’t just going to buy in and let management run the show. Ackman’s history as an activist investor makes many executives very nervous.