Berkshire identifies my successor, says Buffett

Addressing the much-talked about succession plan at Berkshire Hathaway, legendary investor Warren Buffett today said the sprawling conglomerate has identified his successor.

Without disclosing the name of his successor, the octogenarian billionaire in his annual letter to shareholders said the conglomerate's board has had a "great deal of exposure" to the chosen person.

A couple of names including India-origin Ajit Jain, who manages the multi-billion dollar Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group, have been doing the rounds as possible successors to Buffett.

"Your Board is equally enthusiastic about my successor as CEO, an individual to whom they have had a great deal of exposure and whose managerial and human qualities they admire. (We have two superb back-up candidates as well)," Buffett said in his 22-page annual letter.

However, the billionaire investor reiterated that he and his long-time business partner Charlie Munger are not going anywhere immediately.

"... we continue to be in excellent health, and we love what we do," Buffett noted.
According to Buffett, the succession would be "seamless" and Berkshire's prospects will remain bright.

Buffett's comments about succession comes probably for the first time after David Sokol, who was tipped to takeover the reins of Berkshire Hathaway, quit last year amid controversy over an investment decision.

"More than 98 per cent of my net worth is in Berkshire stock, all of which will go to various philanthropies.

"Being so heavily concentrated in one stock defies conventional wisdom. But I'm fine with this arrangement, knowing both the quality and diversity of the businesses we own and the calibre of the people who manage them," the letter said.

Further, Buffett said that with these assets, his successor "will enjoy a running start".

Last year, Berkshire Hathaway had roped in Todd Combs and Ted Weschler at senior executive positions.

"Both of these men have outstanding investment skills and a deep commitment to Berkshire.

"Each will be handling a few billion dollars in 2012, but they have the brains, judgement and character to manage our entire portfolio when Charlie and I are no longer running Berkshire," Buffett wrote in the letter.

Berkshire Hathaway, which also has presence in India, has interests in diverse fields including retail and rail roads.

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