Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman faces a crucial shareholder vote on Tuesday that will decide his months-long battle with Automatic Data Processing to get three seats on the payroll company's board.
The result could affect not just his scorecard as a corporate agitator but the amount of capital investors maintain at his firm.
A handful of investors have told Reuters they are either pulling cash out of Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management or considering doing so after a string of setbacks on his high-profile investments.
Withdrawals and losses have shrunk Pershing Square's assets to $10 billion as of Sept. 30, less than half of what it had in early 2015 but the same amount it managed in 2013.
If Ackman loses the ADP proxy contest, dealing a blow to his efforts to make the paycheck processor and human-resources technology company more efficient and profitable, it is not clear that ADP's shares will fall or that he will sell his $2.3 billion stake.
But clients, rivals, and associates say that if the ADP bet does not work out, it could be another strike against Ackman's once-unquestioned investing prowess and could threaten outside capital housed with his firm.
"It is only so long that we can ignore poor performance," said Joelle Mevi, chief investment officer at the City of Fort Worth Employees Retirement Fund, which is invested with Pershing Square.
George Hopkins, executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, which invests $180 million with Ackman, said his fund has not made any moves to exit Pershing Square but is not planning to add money either. Several others said they were waiting to decide whether to stay with Ackman.