June 29, 2017 / 6:05 PM / a month ago

Chatty billionaire Ackman grabs bigger megaphone with Twitter account

FILE PHOTO: William 'Bill' Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017.Brendan McDermid

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire investor William Ackman, one of the hedge fund industry's most voluble managers with opinions ranging from how companies should be run to the dangers of sugary drinks, just got himself an even bigger megaphone: a Twitter account.

Using the handle, @BillAckman1, the 51-year-old investor is the latest to join the social media network that rivals like Carl Icahn, @Carl_C_Icahn, have used to unveil investment ideas and comment on news about portfolio companies.

A spokesman for Ackman confirmed the account is real.

So far, the account looks bare-bones. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no picture of the widely photographed fund manager, nor were there any tweets.

But Ackman had already accumulated more than 1,000 followers, including many self-described traders and financial journalists. Among the 46 users he followed were former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, tennis star Roger Federer and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

Ackman also follows President Donald Trump on Twitter, and like Trump himself he has a reputation for saying exactly what is on his mind, sometimes ignoring the social norms of polite conversation.

After two years of heavy losses that damaged his reputation as a savvy investor, Ackman has said this year that his investment team is working on new ideas while he also goes back to his basics to beef up performance.

His Pershing Square Holdings is now nursing losses of 2.5 percent for the year so far after having had gains earlier in the year.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Tom Brown

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