2014: How are Ted and Todd doing?
GREGG WARREN: Since Berkshire started to transfer some of the responsibility for the company’s investment portfolio over to Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, the two men have gone from managing around $3 billion each in early 2012, to managing more than $7 billion each earlier this year.
That said, this still represents less than 10 percent of the equity portion of your investment portfolio, with big legacy positions in Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, American Express, IBM and Proctor & Gamble, overshadowing the rest of the holdings.
Can you give us an update on how much money each of your lieutenants is now running and how much you see that growing into over the next five years?
And given that both men have seemingly been involved in things beyond their roles as portfolio managers the last couple of years, how much do you expect their roles to expand over time?
And on a completely separate note, at what point can we expect to see Todd and Ted join you and Charlie up there on stage to talk about their efforts managing Berkshire’s investment portfolio?
WARREN BUFFETT: I got through college answering fewer questions than that. (Laughter)
They are managing about —it’s a little over 7 billion now. We will change that periodically and it will always be upward. But we don’t change it month by month.
I mean, their portfolios may change in value month by month. But they will be handling more money in the future than they are now.
I think, to some extent, they, as well as I — you know, I’ve had the unpleasant experience of handling more and more money as the years go by — they are seeing that it does get a little more difficult as the sums get larger.
But it’s still far better to keep moving money over to them and away from me as time passes. And that’ll continue to be the case.
They’re both terrific additions to Berkshire, beyond their investment skills in that they know — they each know — a whole lot about business. They know a whole lot about management.
And there are a lot of things that come across the desk at Berkshire that I get an idea on, but I just don’t feel like carrying out myself, because they might involve a lot of time, particularly if they get involved in negotiating small points and that sort of thing.
So Ted and Todd have both, as I mentioned in the report, been very helpful in doing things beyond their investment management duties that have added a significant value to Berkshire. And I think it’s a cinch that that will continue.
They want to do it. They enjoy doing it. They don’t ask for extra compensation, at all, because they do it.
They’re 100 percent attuned to Berkshire. They know how I think. And if I tell them, you know, “Here’s a deal that I think makes sense if you can get it done,” they’ll know why it makes sense, and they’ll know how to get it done, and they’ll spend the time to do it.
So it’s been a big, big plus for Berkshire to bring them onboard. And they’ll be more important factors as the years go by. OK.
Charlie? I’m sorry, I’m —
CHARLIE MUNGER: Nothing to add.