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Icahn's $2 Billion Man Denner Starts Own Fund as Activists Shun Healthcare


12/5/2011 11:13:09 AM

Alex Denner knows how to spot biotechnology companies with promising drugs and make sure investments pay off. Working as Carl Icahn’s top health-care investing executive for the past five years, Denner has targeted at least six drugmakers from ImClone Systems Inc. to Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), prompting sales of three. He’s generated about $2 billion in profit for Icahn, said a person familiar with his record who declined to be identified because the matter is private. Now the 42-year-old Denner, who has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, is splitting with Icahn to start his own hedge fund. As some investors avoid health care, partly because of regulatory hurdles, Denner’s knowledge of science and business gives him an advantage as one of the industry’s few activists, said Les Funtleyder, a health-care strategist and portfolio manager at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York.

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