Author Topic: Buffett/Berkshire - general news  (Read 538725 times)

alpha

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1410 on: December 23, 2019, 10:22:38 AM »
I find this quite surprising.  Combs was at Progressive for how long?  Maybe 3-6 years before going to get this MBA?

That's there is no internal GEICO candidate who knows the business and has the confidence of Buffett and Jain is surprising.

I also find this surprising, with all the money GEICO spends on the employee compensation program I thought they would have a selection of next generation execs groomed to take over. If it is part of succession planning I don't understand where he fits into the mix, maybe 3 roles with Abel as CEO, Jain running insurance, and Combs managing the investment portfolio... ???


Munger_Disciple

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longinvestor

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1412 on: December 23, 2019, 04:21:19 PM »
With the Combs move, I sense the big transition announcement coming in 2020. It will be 50 years since the winding down of the Buffett partnership.

longinvestor

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1413 on: December 23, 2019, 04:25:41 PM »
And how about Weschler?

longinvestor

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1414 on: December 23, 2019, 07:12:00 PM »
The Combs move could well be the long term transition plan for Jain. If Jain is irreplaceable as Buffett often has said, they need a long term development plan for the guy coming after him. Jain, it should be noted had near zero insurance background when he came to Berkshire in 1986.

sleepydragon

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1415 on: December 23, 2019, 07:30:24 PM »
The Combs move could well be the long term transition plan for Jain. If Jain is irreplaceable as Buffett often has said, they need a long term development plan for the guy coming after him. Jain, it should be noted had near zero insurance background when he came to Berkshire in 1986.

Also good for Combs to gain experiences in operating businesses, which WEB has mentioned before.

Jurgis

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1416 on: December 26, 2019, 02:59:08 PM »
Some fun Buffett MSFT tidbits on John Huber website: http://sabercapitalmgt.com/warren-buffett-1997-email-exchange-on-microsoft/

(John has an account on CoBF but posts very rarely.)
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Dynamic

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1417 on: December 28, 2019, 09:31:50 PM »
https://acquirersmultiple.com/2018/03/todd-combs-the-billionaire-whisperer/

The above article from early 2018 is worth reading again in light of Todd Combs being hired as GEICO CEO.

I get the strong impression he thinks very seriously about downside risk, as I mentioned earlier. Despite having a financial focused fund prior to joining Berkshire, it fell less than 6% in 2008 compared to 37% for the S&P500 index, which included much more than banks.

An excerpt:
Quote
Castle Point’s mandate was to invest in financial-services stocks. His company had done well but not exceptionally so. It was also relatively small, overseeing about $400 million. Combs’s big accomplishment was navigating the 2008 financial crisis relatively unscathed. His fund ended down 5.7 percent that year, while the S&P 500 plunged 37 percent, according to a letter to investors.

In 2010, Combs asked Buffett’s longtime business partner, Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger, for a meeting. Soon after, the two met for lunch at the California Club in Los Angeles and ended up having a conversation that stretched for hours, according to an article at the time in the Wall Street Journal. Afterward, Munger suggested to Buffett that he meet the young money manager. Beyond his apparent smarts, Combs had the sort of personality that was a “100 percent fit” for Berkshire’s culture, Buffett told the newspaper. Mark Nelson, chairman of investment manager Caledonia in Sydney, who had encouraged Combs to reach out to Munger, says he was surprised by how quickly Berkshire acted. Combs enjoys digging into complex financial companies and tearing apart the accounting, Nelson says. “They probably saw a kindred spirit.”

ValueMaven

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1418 on: December 31, 2019, 09:00:11 AM »
Say what you want about WEB - but he nailed Apple.  One of his best investments!

longterminvestor

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Re: Buffett/Berkshire - general news
« Reply #1419 on: December 31, 2019, 09:47:50 AM »
The beauty of him "nailing Apple" is more than just the increase in dollars.  Its the fact that after years and years of saying he doesn't understand tech, that he actually spent the time to learn it and find an opportunity to allocate capital to the new found knowledge.  He failed with IBM, and instead of never going back, he found a new opportunity with Apple.  An amazing achievement and its still early innings with Apple which is great to see.

On that thought I was disappointed to see them sell 1MM Shares but that probably had to do with Ted/Todd having to sell for something they liked better.  To have the discipline not mettle shows the discipline.   If asked, Warren probably wanted to say, yeah, just allocated those APPL shares to me and I will give you fresh capital.  They didnt do that - others might have.  Just amazing to watch.