Warren Buffett’s leadership over nearly five decades has resulted in an unparalleled track record and thousands of loyal shareholders, many of whom have invested in the company mainly due to Mr. Buffett’s presence. Succession planning in a situation where the manager is clearly irreplaceable is obviously an unenviable task for board members. There is a widespread perception that Berkshire’s succession planning is unclear or non-existent. However, a look at the actual facts show that we do know quite a bit regarding Berkshire’s succession planning. Read this article for more details.
There has been much speculation this week regarding the reasons behind Warren Buffett’s decision to hire Todd Combs to manage a portion of Berkshire Hathaway’s investment portfolio. Although short term stock price movements are meaningless, some observers have attributed Berkshire Hathaway’s stock performance over the past two days to investor discomfort with the selection, although it is equally plausible that investors are simply refocusing on their discomfort with the overall succession issue. More information regarding Mr. Combs will no doubt emerge in due course so spending time speculating on his qualifications and background is a rather pointless exercise. In the meantime, it is more productive to take a look at one of his highest conviction positions: Western Union.
In a long awaited announcement, Berkshire Hathaway has named an investment manager to handle a “significant portion” of the company’s investment portfolio. In a press release issued today, Berkshire announced the appointment of Todd Combs as an investment manager. Mr. Combs has been managing Castle Point Capital, a Greenwich, Connecticut based hedge fund, for the past five years. Read this article for our commentary and a look at Castle Point Capital’s investment portfolio.