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Icahn Capital LP is a privately owned family office. In 2011, Icahn returned all fee paying capital to investors. As of his 13F from December 31, 2014, Icahn reported managing $31.90 billion across 22 different positions.
Carl Icahn is an American billionaire financier, corporate raider and private equity investor. In 2009, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $9 billion and is in an eight way tie for the 43rd richest man in the world. Icahn obtained an A.B. in Philosophy from Princeton University in 1957 and dropped out of the New York University School of Medicine. His career on Wall Street began in 1961 and in 1968 he formed Icahn & Co., a securities firm that focused on risk arbitrage and options trading. In 1978 he began seizing control of positions in individual companies including: RJR Nabisco, TWA, Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Western Union, Gulf & Western, Vicacom, Uniroyal, Dan River, Marshall Field, E-II (Culligan and Samsonite), American Can, USX, Marvel Comics, Revlon, Imclone, Federal-Mogul, Fairmont Hotels, Kerr-McGee, Time Warner and Motorola.
Brett Icahn has been a Portfolio Manager and member of the Board of Icahn Capital LP, a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises L.P. (“IELP”), a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, including investment, automotive, energy, food packaging, metals, mining, real estate and home fashion, since October 2020. Previously, he served as a consultant for IELP where he exclusively provided investment advice to Carl Icahn with respect to the investment strategy for Icahn Enterprises’ Investment segment and with respect to capital allocation across Icahn Enterprises’ various operating subsidiaries from 2017 to 2020. From 2010 to 2017, Brett Icahn served as a Portfolio Manager of the Sargon Portfolio for Icahn Capital LP, the entity through which Carl Icahn manages investment funds. From 2002 to 2010, Brett served as an investment analyst for Icahn Capital LP and in a variety of investment advisory roles for Carl Icahn. Brett currently serves on the Board of Bausch Health Companies, Inc. and Newell Brands Inc. Brett previously served on the Boards of Nuance Communications, Inc., American Railcar Industries, Inc., Cadus Corporation, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and Voltari Corporation.
Carl Icahn is the quintessential activist and has been extremely successful in both his return on investment and attaining his activist goals. He is very passionate about shareholder rights and good corporate governance and will go to extreme lengths to fight incompetent boards and over compensated managers. He has even formed the United Shareholders of America to assist in this battle. However, his most successful activist maneuvers have been orchestrating acquisitions or joint ventures in some of his larger positions, such as BEA Systems, ImClone and Medimmune. In March of 2011 he returned all outside money to investors and now manages only his own capital.
While Carl Icahn is not slowing down at all, in October 2020, he reached an agreement with his son, Brett Icahn, to rejoin the firm as the eventual successor. Brett has said that he plans to employ his father’s favored approach of pushing companies to make changes designed to boost their stock prices, though he hasn’t ruled out friendly bets too. This is not a departure from the strategy Carl has succeeded with for many years. He can be friendly (i.e., Apple, Netflix) or he can be confrontational (i.e., Forest Labs, Biogen), often it depends on the response of management. Brett is an impressive activist investor in his own right, not because he is Carl’s son, but because he has demonstrated a long track record of extremely successful activist investing. Much has been written about the Sargon Portfolio he co-headed at Icahn, which at one time totaled around $7 billion and included extremely profitable investments in companies such as Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. The Saragon Portfolio significantly outperformed the market with an annualized return of 27%. However, prior to that Brett started in 2002 with Icahn as an analyst and was later responsible for campaigns like Hain Celestial (280.3% return versus 46.7% for the S&P500), Take Two Interactive (81.5% versus 64.5%) and Mentor Graphics (106.4% versus 79.4%).