By Myriam Robin and Mark Di Stefano

Is that really funds management doyen Geoff Wilson being heckled by randoms on the site formerly known as Twitter? Yes, yes it is.

After several years lurking as an anonymous user, a trip to New York meeting the likes of Twitter power user Bill Ackman (who manages a leading hedge fund in his spare time) convinced the Wilson Asset Management founder that he was really, really missing out. And so, three weeks ago, @GeoffWilsonWAM was born. And hasn’t it been rather distracting.

Wilson has done as you’d expect of a finance guy and philanthropist, mixing Financial Times and Bloomberg pieces, engagement bait, along with the requisite inspirational quotes. “I prefer #Buddha’s quote: If you knew the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing some of it”, he recently tweeted. #wowgeoff #sograteful.

What makes Wilson’s arrival quite peculiar though is that he has also dived feet-first into the crazed corners of #FinTwit, that gathering of bored banker types hiding behind pseudonyms who keep the social media platform permanently open on their second or third screens. At Wilson’s arrival, they’ve gone hog wild.

An avalanche of franking credits content has been directed at him. The airing of the Boomer slurs. And the posting of countless memes (often featuring images of Wilson’s juxtaposed head), including one whose smutty origin would defile a financial newspaper.

Wilson’s taking it all in stride. “If you’d asked me who Gigachad was yesterday I’d have had no idea,” he said. He looked it up before forming his response, naturally.

“It’s all about nuances,” he noted. “In markets, you have to learn to communicate the right way.”

“In the meme market, you either crack or play the game. I’m trying to understand the rules of engagement. And I’m a novice – a total novice. But I do know a lot more than I did three weeks ago.”

Wilson hopes to amass some 80,000 followers, and views it as a way to ensure the fund has “a strong voice”. As Bill Shorten (who fell victim to WAM’s franking credits campaign) would attest, WAM already had one. Still, this is certainly a new audience, a world away from packing exhibition centres with dividend-hungry retirees drawn for the insight and the Scotch Fingers.

Wilson Asset Management, it must be said, manages billions of dollars. Wilson stands atop an empire that now employs both ex-RBA Governor Phil Lowe (that’s #BubbleOPhil online) and former NSW premier Mike Baird, and finds plenty of time to bait the likes of Nick Bolton for fun already. Does he have time for this too?

It doesn’t take much, he insisted. And anyway, “learning about anything is fantastic”. “To me it’s invigorating, it’s exciting.” And the quality of financial information on the platform, Wilson reckons, is really quite high.

But is it worth the risk? Blame it on the dopamine or the adrenaline, but Ackman (1.2 million followers) recently spent all night bashing out a 5000-word tweet. Which neatly illustrates that mainlining Twitter content remains the surest way to give a normal person brain worms (also see: Elon Musk).

Mind you, Ackman is also leveraging his following to raise a $US10 billion ($15.2 billion) fund aimed at retail investors. If he pulls that off, it’ll have been worth every all-nighter. Who’d blame Wilson for pondering the possibilities.

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