油管：my Youtube 2022 video for BRK HQ video below (narration mostly in Chinese)
We know Charlie Munger (Wiki) passed away recently, and he was the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway: he had some influence on Warren Buffet’s investments over the years, including See’s Candy, Coca Cola and so on. Here is the free online book Poor Charlie’s Almanack (you can purchase the paper versions through the links here). Also, the last interview before he passed away with CNBC’s Becky Quick (1 hour 42 mins, YouTube link here). I still think Warren makes most investments decisions independently. though.
If you like to have a quick look, I listed some shorter videos of Charlie Munger’s classical moments here.
四大金刚 (google; baidu baike, Wiki) is a common idiom in Chinese, and I think it may be suitable to describe the current top 4 men who works for Warren Buffett. And I assume they take over most of what Warren does today, should Warren decides to retire.
Top Two (Duo)
Greg Abel (Wiki): current Vice Chairman of BRK, responsible for all non-insurance operations, which also means he is in charge of the BRK Energy (formerly Mid-America Energy), BNSF Railway, many manufacturing and retail operations ranges from BH Home Service (real estate agents), Brooks Running, Clayton Home, Diary Queen, to ISCAR, Nebraska Furniture Market (NFM), Net Jets, See’s Candies, to Oriental Trading, Squish Marrow and so on. Note there are many business people may have not heard of. As of now, Greg will be the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway when Warren Buffett retires, in addition to his curent Vice Chair title.
Ajit Jain: current Vice Chairman of BRK, responsible for all insurance operations, companies such as Geico (car insurance) to reinsurance business.
Warren asked Greg and Ajit to be on the stage in last few years’ annual shareholder meeting, and they answered relevant questions in their portfolio. This is a good move. I think also, once Charlie slipped his tongue during an Q&A, and he said Greg will keep the culture (or something similar). So the world knows Greg is the CEO heir apparent.
Investment managers (also a duo)
Ted and Todd are two former hedge fund managers that Warren Buffet hired about 15 years ago (exact date please refer to their Wikipedia links below, or you can google it). Quite a few people including $BRK.A and $BRK.B shareholders would question Warren Buffett’s age and they are worried what if Warren suddenly became incapacitated or die. Who is the heir apparent. This is a tricky question or problem, because very few hedge fund managers would give up their career, at the same time would basically be prepared when this inevitable happens. It seems in Ted W. and Todd C. Warren found the perfect duo for this job. This is somewhat like the duo of Warren himself and Charlie.
Ted Weschler: Ted got a bit unwanted attention from his personal IRA investment. But his performance speaks louder than his words. Quote Wikipedia: in 2012, Weschler joined Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway, a year after Todd Combs joined as Berkshire’s first investment manager. As of 2019, he managed $13 billion of the equity portfolio and $8 billion in pension funds.
Todd Combs: in addition to his investment duty (along with Ted), note Todd is also the CEO of Geico (and technically for that role he reports to Ajit). Here is a picture of Todd during “invest in yourself 5k” during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. Here is a picture of Ted, Todd and Tracy Britt Cool during that run. Note Tracy used to work for Warren as well, and she started to work on her own investment partnership in recent years. Maybe someday she will come back to BRK: if the right opportunity arises.
Howard Buffett, Warren’s older son, plans to take over the Chairman role when Warren retires. Susan Buffett, Warren’s daughter, and a few others will be on the board. They may need to add one or 2 board seats because Charile used to be a board member.
One thing it’s interesting is Warren likes #pairProgramming, or #pairWorking, because he has two pairs of magnificent managers for CEO and investment managers job.