In a new development over who might eventually take over for Buffett, the Omaha-based conglomerate announced on Wednesday the appointment of Gregory Abel, 55, as vice chairman of noninsurance businesses, and Ajit Jain, 66, as vice chairman of insurance operations. "They are the two key figures at Berkshire...this would've made sense five years ago, too".
Berkshire Hathaway added Stamford executive Ajit Jain and another to its board of directors and elevated them to vice chairman under Warren Buffett, with analysts inferring the move as a signal of the investment giant's possible succession plans.
"When it happens or how or anything else, I don't know", he added in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" from Omaha, Nebraska.
While Munger had the idea to make Abel and Jain vice chairmen, Buffett said on CNBC that managing a large portion of Berkshire would provide valuable experience to his successor. Jain joined in 1986 and now serves as Executive Vice President of National Indemnity Company with overall responsibility for leading Berkshire's reinsurance operations. "But I think we have to be a little more careful", he said in December. He joined the company in 1992.
Berkshire Hathaway has promoted two long-serving executives as it contemplates a future without billionaire boss Warren Buffett. Jain joined the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group in 1986 and now serves as executive vice president of National Indemnity Company with overall responsibility for leading Berkshire's reinsurance operations.
In late-morning trading, Berkshire Class A shares rose $2,010 to $306,530 and its B shares rose $1.61 to $204.63.
While Berkshire remains best known for insurance and reinsurance, the sector generates only about one-fourth of operating results as the company has diversified.
Mr Buffett told CNBC that the changes should be nearly imperceptible from the outside.
Speculation that Abel and Jain were the top candidates grew after Munger singled them out as "world-leading" performers in a 2015 letter to Berkshire shareholders. He now serves as executive vice president of National Indemnity Co.