Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Jain, Abel appointments a move toward succession at Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett

Jain, Abel appointments a move toward succession at Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett

Responding to an analyst report that predicted Buffett could run Berkshire for the next 10 years, the Oracle of Omaha said that sounds a bit long without getting anymore specific.

Berkshire said Wednesday that it is expanding its 12-member board of directors by two and naming Gregory Abel and Ajit Jain to fill the spots.

The move potentially positions either of the two leaders as Buffett's successor.

During the company's annual meeting a year ago, Mr. Buffett suggested that whoever does ultimately step into his role will be responsible for spending the company's cash and that his successor could take the reins while Mr. Buffett is still alive. Jain has been with Berkshire Hathaway Insurance since 1986, he now leads the company's reinsurance operations.

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Berkshire Hathway's insurance and reinsurance operations are an enormous driver of the conglomerate's value, with the $100 billion or more insurance float providing the ammunition for Warren Buffett's investment bets.

The appointments are sure to raise speculation that Abel or Jain are top candidates to succeed Buffett.

"What's going on definitely will come to a bad ending", said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway's CEO, on cryptocurrencies.

Jain, who joined in 1986, has been serving as executive vice president of Berkshire's National Indemnity Co. and leading Berkshire's reinsurance businesses. So will Charlie Munger, Berkshire's existing vice chairman who has worked alongside Mr. Buffett for decades.

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