Pershing Square, Ackman's $9 billion hedge fund, has suffered losses for three straight years, even as the broader market has rallied. According to MarketWatch, Pershing Square laid off 18% of its staff on Friday, which brought its head count down to 46—Ackman's driver was one of the unlucky employees. The cuts come during tough times for Ackman's dwindling gang. The $9 billion fund suffered three consecutive years of losses—in 2017, Pershing lost 4% while the S&P 500 gained 21.8%, and the fund lost 20.5% in 2015 and 13.5% in 2016.
Ackman started 2015 with more than $18 billion in assets under management, but the fund suffered greatly over the last few years following a disastrous investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which cost the fund roughly $4 billion by the time Ackman exited the position in March 2017. Valeant was a player in skin care, too. At one time it owned Obagi, before selling it last year to Haitong International Zhonghua Finance Acquisition Fund I, L.P. for $190 million.