In recent weeks, there has been some speculation that Li Lu may be a potential candidate for Chief Investment Officer at Berkshire Hathaway once Warren Buffett retires. Berkshire Hathaway’s succession plans call for Warren Buffett’s job to be split into two roles. The new CEO will have ultimate responsibility for Berkshire Hathaway and one or more investment officers will have oversight responsibility for investment operations and will report to the CEO.
Who is Li Lu? According to his Wikipedia entry, Li Lu was an organizer of the student protest movement in China and took part in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. After the post-Tiananmen crackdown, Mr. Lu had to flee mainland China and moved to the United States where he became one of the first students in the history of Columbia University to complete three degrees simultaneously: a B.A. in Economics, a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and a M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Mr. Lu founded Himalaya Capital in 1997 and ran the fund until 2004. In 2004, he founded a long only investment vehicle named LL Investment Partners.
During the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Charlie Munger made a vague reference to a candidate for the CIO position who returned 200 percent in 2009. At the Wesco meeting the following week, Mr. Munger mentioned Li Lu in the context of the BYD investment. While no specific reference has been made to Li Lu, it is obvious why there is some speculation regarding the possibilities.
In the video shown below, Li Lu speaks to Bruce Greenwald’s value investment class at Columbia University.
Instructions for viewing video: Please click on the red play button at the center of the display. The embedded video will then ask you to select the video quality. Do not select a quality but instead click on the green play button. The video will then play within your browser. Apologies for the very confusing interface provided by this video service. The actual lecture starts around the three minute mark.
For RSS Feed Subscribers, please click on this link for the video. Note that registration is not required to view the video. Simply click on the play button in the center of the display. Do not select a video quality. The site will open up an unrelated window but should begin streaming the main presentation. The actual lecture starts at about the three minute mark.
Disclosure: The author owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway.