Buffett anoints successor to manage his billions
Tuesday 26 October 2010
Warren Buffett, who heads the beloved American conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, has named an obscure 39-year-old hedge fund manager to oversee much of the company's money, making him the favourite to succeed the billionaire investment guru. For the past five years, Todd Combs has run a Connecticut hedge fund called Castle Point Capital, which withstood the financial crisis, despite investing almost solely in financial companies.
"For three years [Berkshire's vice-chairman] Charlie Munger and I have been looking for someone of Todd's calibre to handle a significant portion of Berkshire's investment portfolio," Mr Buffett said in a statement to his shareholders. "We are delighted that Todd will be joining us."
The billionaire also told Fortune magazine that Mr Combs is not in the least bit interested in publicity.
Mr Buffett turned 80 in August, but insists he has no intention of retiring from the company he bought in 1965 and turned into a $200bn colossus with businesses ranging from global insurance to local furniture stores.
However, speculation about Mr Buffett's successor remains rampant and he has said he expects his responsibilities will be split at least three ways, with his son, Howard, as chairman, with a new chief executive to take over running the existing businesses.
Mr Buffett has been trying out a handful of managers for the other post of Head of Investments, who would be the main "ideas man" at the company – and an heir to Mr Buffett's informal role dispensing folksy investment wisdom to shareholders and others.
Earlier this year, Mr Munger said it was a "foregone conclusion" that Li Lu, 44, a protester during the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989 – now a US hedge fund manager – would also have a role managing Berkshire's investments, by Mr Combs' appointment yesterday is the first formal indication of what is being planned for a post-Buffett future.
After a stint working for a major competitor to Berkshire, Mr Combs set up Castle Point in 2007, managing more than $400m (£254m) for investors. He impressed the cautious Buffett by steering clear of toxic investments such as Lehman Brothers and AIG and buying back into the markets at their lows.
It has been announced that Mr Combs' hedge fund will be wound down.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...