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"Ackman is a good example of 'It is OK to be the smartest guy in the room, but it may not be the best idea to tell everyone that you're the smartest guy in the room,''' said Jonathan Kanterman, an alternative investment consultant. "People can get a little turned off by that."
Supporters maintain it can be easy to mistake self-confidence for arrogance. Ackman has bounced back from setbacks before, and his reputation is based on some rather spectacular successes.