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By Jeremy Glaser and Greggory Warren, CFA | 04-28-2014 03:00 PM

How Will Berkshire Look After Buffett?

Although the makeup of Berkshire's C-suite post-Buffett remains in question, the current names in place should enable a smooth transition and keep the firm profitable, says Morningstar's Gregg Warren.

Jeremy Glaser: For Morningstar, I'm Jeremy Glaser. What does Berkshire look like after Buffett? I'm here today with Gregg Warren, our analyst who covers the company, to see what he thinks is in store.

Gregg, thanks for joining me today.

Gregg Warren: Thanks for having me.

Glaser: It's no secret that Warren Buffett is getting on in years and has had some health problems recently. What's the update on what's happening with the succession planning? Anything new on that front?

Warren: Not a whole lot. We expect the questions to come up again this year, but I think, Berkshire sort of put the questions to bed the last couple of years by highlighting the fact that they have one named candidate. The name's in an envelope. The board has it, and it'll be opened once Warren's no longer running the show. I think the thing is when we look at Warren now, he's 83; Charlie Munger just turned 90 at the beginning of the year. Warren did have some health issues the past couple of years with prostate cancer, but that's not really been talked about. Again, it's probably a question that'll come up at the meeting: How's he faring and how's his health doing?

But overall, when you look at where Warren is and you look where Charlie is, you've got to think there's at least another good decade potentially with Warren at the helm or at least another good five or six years. In that time, things can change. Our best guess of whose name is in the envelope is Ajit Jain. He runs Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance. He's probably been a bigger contributor to profits at Berkshire over the last 20 years. Buffett's come out on several occasions and said that Ajit's made more money for Berkshire than [Buffett] has over the years. We think that he's a good capital allocator if that's what Buffett's looking for in a new CEO.

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