Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) and Warren Buffett are synonymous, one can never see them differently, but what will happen to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) after Buffett? Over the years, many names have been suggested as the possible successor to Buffett, but Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has always been tight lipped about who will succeed Buffett. Many people now believe that Buffett can’t be succeeded by a single person and his responsibilities at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) would be divided among many people, one of those is the author of the book ‘Berkshire Beyond Buffett’, Lawrence Cunningham.
He, along with the founder and Chief Investing Officer of Passport Capital John Burbank discussed about the prospective leadership of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) after Buffett on Bloomberg, recently.
“I think, the main thing that is going on is that they have increasingly moved away from stock positions, buying minority stakes in public companies, to buying 100% of companies. That has been the trend over the last 10 or15 years, so 20 years ago 80% of the company was in common stocks and 20% in businesses, today it’s the other way around and so the operating companies are the more important part of the business now. He has recruited a deep bench of managers, who are running those companies […],” Cunningham said.
Cunningham also clarified that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has never done hostile takeovers since the 1970’s, rather all 60 of its acquistions have been friendly and negotiated transactions. Cunningham believes that Buffet’s job is going to be split into three – CEO, who will be in-charge of acquisitions; CIO, who will oversee investments; and Chairman of the Board, who will be in-charge of maintaining Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s values as a company. He predicts that Warren Buffet’s son Howard Buffett is most likely to be the Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s Board.
“Anybody who is interested in investing in their 20’s or 30’s certainly will turn to Warren Buffett, I think it’s the ability to be long term, ability to be a passive shareholder. But it’s really about what you are investing in and who you are investing in. […],” Burbank said.