I’d put Jorge Lemann in the top four or five smartest people I know on Wall Street. A few years back, his investment fund 3G Capital—the dealmakers behind the $28 billion buyout of Heinz in 2013—put a fair bit in our fund. Lemann and one of his associates, Alex Behring, had come over to my office to talk. It turns out Lemann spends some time in New York, and I said, “We should get together out in the Hamptons, hit a few balls.” I used to be a club tennis player, and I figured, I can give him a pretty good game. “We’ll bet on it!” I said. He’s a quiet guy, and he just smiled and said, “Perhaps.” And then Alex touched me on the arm and said, “I don’t think you want to do that.” “How come?” I asked. He said, “Well, he used to be one of the top players in the world.” So I quickly said, “Forget the betting!” Like I said, he’s a smart guy.
Icahn is the majority shareholder in Icahn Enterprises