How Many Times Will Todd Combs, Ted Weschler Have To Humiliate Warren Buffett To Prove They Can Run Berkshire?By Jon Shazar
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]