Updated May 5th, 2024 at 15:27 IST

Berkshire AGM: Know more about Warren Buffet’s succession vision, investment outlook

Buffet invoked his conglomerate's former co-founder and Vice-President late Charlie Munger calling him 'architect of today's Berkshire'.

Reported by: Business Desk
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger | Image:AP Photo

Buffet's vision for Berkshire: The much-anticipated address of billionaire Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on Saturday made the investment mogul emotional as he paid tributes to his close confidant and business partner Charlie Munger. Highlighting the roles cut out for members of the newly appointed management which is designated to succeed him and discussing Berkshire's opportunities, Buffet added. 

Greg Abel (61) designated Buffett's successor as chief executive in 2021 shared the stage with Buffett.  Here are some key remarks during the meeting on various topics from Buffett and Abel sum up areas from business investments to corporate life in general. 


Buffet on succession 

“I don’t really do much and I don’t operate at the same level of efficiency that I would have thirty years ago or forty years ago … when you’ve got somebody like Greg (Abel) and Ajit (Jain), why settle for me? It has worked out extremely well.” “The number of calls I get from managers is essentially awfully close to zero and Greg is handling those. I don’t know quite how he does it, but we’ve got the right person, I can tell you that.” "We will own Apple and American Express and Coca-Cola when Greg takes over this place."


Buffet on capital allocation 

“If I were on that board and making that decision, I would probably, knowing Greg, I would leave the capital allocation to Greg. He understands businesses extremely well, and if you understand businesses you understand common stocks.”


Buffet on life 

"You don't know where the paths of life go, you can't beat yourself up, you try and do the things important to you. I enjoy managing money for the people who trust me. I like the feeling of being trusted. I am not looking to change much. I believe in trying to find what you're good at and what you enjoy. I think the one thing you can aspire to be is be kind. And then the world is better off... I'm not sure the world is better off if I'm richer."


Abel on succession 

Abel said “as we go through any transition, it's important to know that the capital allocation principles that Berkshire lives by today will continue to survive.” “We’ll always look at equities as if we’re investing in a business, 1% or 100%.”


Buffet on confidant Munger 

Munger was the “architect of today's Berkshire. The architect is the person who dreams of and designs, and finally supervises the construction of great structures. The carpenters and the beavers, that's me, are needed, but the architect is the genius of Berkshire.” “Charlie, in all the years we worked together, not only never once lied to me, ever, but he didn't even shape things so that he told half lies or quarter lies to sort of stack the deck in the direction he wanted to go.”


Buffet on Berkshire's opportunities 

“We made the commitment in Japan … five years ago and that was just … extraordinarily compelling … but you won’t find us making a lot of investments outside the United States.” “I understand the United States rules, weaknesses, strengths … I don’t have the same feeling for economies around the world, I don’t pick up on other cultures extremely well." “We will be American oriented. If we do something really big, it’s extremely likely it will be in the United States.” “The goal of Berkshire … is to increase the operating earnings and decrease the shares outstanding. It's that simple to describe, it's not quite so simple to pull off necessarily, but that's what we're attempting to do.”


Buffet on Apple 

 “We own American Express which is a wonderful business, we own Coca Cola which is a wonderful business, and we own Apple which is an even better business.” “Unless something really extraordinary happens we will own Apple, American Express and Coca Cola.” “At the end of the year I would say it’s extremely likely that Apple is the largest common stock holding we have.”

Buffet on Paramount stake 

"It was 100% my decision and we've sold it all and we lost quite a bit of money."


Buffet on Artificial Intelligence 

“I do think.. it has enormous potential for good and an enormous potential for harm.”


(With Reuters inputs) 


Published May 5th, 2024 at 15:22 IST