Since Berkshire Hathaway announced late Monday it was tapping Todd Combs as a successor to Warren Buffett, the most common response has been, "Why him?" By all accounts, Combs, a father of three, is said to be affable, hard-working guy who wears khakis and button-downs at the the office where he's made money for his clients every year but 2008, and has returned a 34 percent since launching in November 2005. One investor said "it's tough to find someone as passionate and thoughtful," his former business school professor at Columbia says that out of "a very intense group of MBAs," Combs "probably had the greatest desire to win" and his wife April's maid of honor told the Journal that he's gotten to where he is today without knowing anyone in the industry when he first started and that he's "smart and can adapt."
Still, though, many wonder why Berkshire didn't go with someone who has experience managing a larger fund (Castle Point's assets are less than half a billion) or who produced more spectacular returns. Buffett has said that beyond Combs' "ability and intelligence," he and Vice-Chairman Chairman Charlie Munger wanted him because they were "convinced he would fit in to Berkshire's no-fuss culture," an explanation that has not entirely satisfied people, some Berkshire shareholders included.
A tip from an insider and a bit of digging on our parts has revealed the REAL reason WB went with T:
Buffett told the Journal that he ultimately "arrived at the decision based on the same kind of 'gut check' he makes with acquisitions of companies." And you know what his "gut" told him this time? That as a Florida State alum with fierce loyalty to the Seminoles, Combs could not only make him an intro to the the lady above, who the Berkshire Hathaway founder** has had his eye on, but probably procure her number from the alumni directory for the purposes of sending her some tasteful Brett Favre-inspired faxes, as well.
You can stop scratching your heads now.
**Known as much for his investing prowess as his love o' the busty babes/marrying folksy business wisdom with aberrant sex fetish.