Although we didn't get any new details about Berkshire's (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) succession plan at the company's annual meeting, Warren Buffett emphasized that the right team is in place to continue the company's winning strategy. Here are the details of what he had to say.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on May 7, 2018.
Michael Douglass: Let's turn to succession. This is an issue that pops up, I would say, annually, but frankly, it's a lot more often than that. Warren Buffett is in his upper 80s -- he's 87, to be more precise. Charlie Munger, his vice chairman and partner in crime, is 94 years old. So, it's natural for people to ask, what happens after both of you are no longer running Berkshire Hathaway? And, per usual, it seems, we didn't really get any new details on that.
Matt Frankel: We've gotten enough details, I feel, for the time being. We both hope that Buffett and Munger both live well into their hundreds.
Frankel: But there's no guarantee that they even want to run their company if they're around in their hundreds. This is something that could happen at any time, and shareholders are getting kind of anxious to know they're still going to be investing in Buffett, essentially, after Buffett's gone.
Buffett tried to set shareholders' minds at ease saying that the team is in place should anything happen. The two recently promoted vice-chairmen who pretty much combine to oversee all of Berkshire's businesses. One of them will be the CEO, we don't know who it is yet. And, his two investment managers -- Ted and Todd, everyone says -- are not only managing more and more money over time, but are starting to actually bring acquisition ideas to Berkshire's attention and the instrumental in that side of the business. So, he's very confident in his team, and Charlie Munger even doubled down on that and said, if anyone sells the stock after him and Buffett is gone, they're going to regret it and won't do any better elsewhere.
Douglass: Yes. Charlie Munger is known for hitting the nail on the head, and, as per usual, that's what he did. He also had a great quote. Buffett was talking about how he's sort of been semi-retired, is how he called it. And Munger was like, "Yeah, Warren's very good at doing nothing," which was your classic laugh/ applause line at Berkshire Hathaway, just to give you a feel for the meeting.