Warren Buffett's Succession Plan Is Down to Two

Marco Green
January 13, 2018

Cathy Seifert, an analyst with CFRA Research in NY who follows Berkshire, told The World-Herald that naming the two vice chairman - titles suggested by Munger - Buffett removes much of the succession uncertainty that has anxious many Berkshire shareholders. It remains to be seen whether the company will lose its lustre without the Oracle of Omaha.

The moves do, however, more clearly lay out Jain's level of authority, with his new title of vice chairman, insurance operations providing him with oversight of all of Berkshire's insurance operations (including Geico), as well as Abel's, whose new title of Vice Chairman, noninsurance business operations, gives him oversight over the company's remaining segments.

When Buffett speaks, investors listen because during his time at Berkshire Hathaway the firm has comfortably outperformed the markets and other investment vehicles.

The legendary investor's departure would put the company into unchartered territory for retail investors.

However, the 87-year-old equities investment guru said he is still in "remarkably good health". The Omaha-based conglomerate employs tens of thousands in a variety of businesses including insurance, mobile housing and industrial concerns.

"I can't wait to go to the office in the morning". "There's nothing I'd rather be doing". "They've both got Berkshire in their blood".

She said naming Abel and Jain also may signal that, just as Buffett and Munger have run Berkshire since the 1960s, two people may run Berkshire in the future, with one as the CEO and the other having a strong role as vice chairman. His son Howard will be chairman. The CEO is known for many things-his love of ice cream for breakfast and Cherry Cokes-but he's also known for managing a company that has beaten the S&P 500 index of USA stocks in 36 out of the past 52 years.

Berkshire Hathaway's board of directors has voted to increase the number of directors from 12 to 14, with two heads of company subsidiaries appointed as vice-chairmen.

Abel has used big acquisitions to help expand Berkshire Hathaway Energy, but had a setback a year ago when his $9 billion offer for Texas power transmission company Oncor was trumped by a higher bid from San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

"When everyone's talking about it, it makes me feel like we're probably near the top of a bubble", Rogers said in an interview on ".

The arrangement could continue "a long time" before one of them becomes CEO, Buffett said, but "if something happens to me, it could be very soon".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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