The experts aren’t sure, but since the Oracle’s been running the place for 50 years, we’re going to say 50 times.

Warren Buffett is seeking to reassure shareholders about how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will perform in the decades after he steps down or dies, but remains as vague as ever about succession plans.

And that means some followers of the 83-year-old billionaire’s huge insurance and investment company remain far from comforted by his words, and worry about how well Berkshire can thrive without him.

“I don’t know of any good examples of an iconic CEO like Buffett ever being successfully followed,” said Meyer Shields, an analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc….

In his annual letter to shareholders this weekend, Buffett noted that Berkshire’s performance trailed the Standard & Poor’s 500 .SPXTR in 2013 – and in fact, even on a five-year basis it lagged that benchmark for the first time under Buffett….

He also pointed out that portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler – who could be candidates for the chief investment officer job – had outperformed not only Berkshire’s returns but those of the S&P 500 last year, though their portfolios of more than $7 billion each are small compared with the massive one that Buffett himself oversees….

“When he’s gone the stock price will probably get hit a little bit, 10 percent, 20, I don’t know,” said Paul Lountzis, president of Lountzis Asset Management in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Buffett fails to dispel investor angst over succession plan [Reuters]
Buffett’s Ex-Hedge Fund Managers Shine [FINalternatives]

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Comments (10)

  1. Posted by Guest | March 5, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    As long as you have the special relationships in government and business, you can do as well as a Buffett like CEO.

  2. Posted by Control Freak Quant | March 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    How is that people always seem to forget that this ruthless motherfucker ran Solomon for like 10 years. They're gonna have to pry BRK from his cold dead hands.

  3. Posted by Franz List | March 5, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Things I will miss about Warren when he's gone:

    1. Dilly Bar references
    2. Creepy sexual innuendos
    3. Plain English explanations of insurance accounting
    4. Polygamy
    5. Economic optimism
    6. Preference for young blonde sycophants
    7. Homespun wisdom about human nature
    8. Bisexual references in company annual reports

    "you end up with the reputation you deserve"

  4. Posted by Dead_cat | March 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    "Preference for young blonde sycophants"… who are pretty darned impressive / terrifying when you look into their bios.

  5. Posted by The Truth | March 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    #4 always gets glossed over for some reason…

  6. Posted by serious | March 5, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    tell me more

  7. Posted by Shaz's beard | March 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Stock market has been open for three and a half hours and Shazzy produced one sentence, seems like things are back to normal.

  8. Posted by Guest | March 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Says [ex-] young blonde sycophant #3.

  9. Posted by Guest | March 5, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Do you really have no clue or do you just want to debate long-term adultery vs polygamy?

  10. Posted by Quant me maybe ... | March 5, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Ummm……. And a snappy title.

    >Never forget the title.