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No New Succession Clues in Berkshire Board Moves

We think both Ajit Jain and Greg Abel are integral to the company's operations but regard Abel as the more likely successor to Buffett.

No New Succession Clues in Berkshire Board Moves
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We were not too surprised to see wide-moat-rated Berkshire Hathaway announce this week that Ajit Jain, who runs the company's reinsurance groups, and Greg Abel, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Energy, have been added to the firm's board of directors, given that both men are integral to the company's operations (and have also been the front-runners to succeed CEO Warren Buffett for some time now). That said, this does not do much to make the succession plan at Berkshire any clearer than it was a week ago, with the moves only adding credence to our long-standing belief that Jain and Abel are the two leading candidates to replace Buffett once he departs the scene.

The moves do, however, more clearly lay out Jain's level of authority, with his new title of vice chairman, insurance operations providing him with oversight of all of Berkshire's insurance operations (including Geico), as well as Abel's, whose new title of Vice Chairman, noninsurance business operations, gives him oversight over the company's remaining segments.

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Greggory Warren does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.