Who Will Be Warren Buffett’s Successor?

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The wait for the Buffet heir continues. A proposal by a group of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK) investors from the AFL-CIO that would force the conglomerate to reveal its legendary chief executive’s planned successor is being met with opposition from the board.

The labor union’s AFL-CIO Reserve Fund has asked for a written succession plan that would include the criteria for the selection of the next chief executive and identify any potential candidates. Berkshire shareholders have long craved clarity on the subject and last month, the 81-year-old Buffet wrote a letter assuring his investors that the board had chosen a replacement and had identified two backup candidates.

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However, the company’s board has expressed no interest in making its succession plans accessible to shareholders, insisting that the selection could potentially change over time.

The latest proposal will be voted on at the Omaha-based company’s annual meeting in May. But with the board holding 38 percent of the voting rights, it is not likely to get approval.

Buffett has insisted he has no plans of leaving just yet, but has previously spoken of a succession plan that would split his job among a chief executive, chairman, and several investment managers. His son Howard could potentially be a candidate for the chairman’s position, while hedge fund managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler could be overseeing all investments. The two “have the brains, judgment and character to manage our entire portfolio,” Buffett said in his letter to investors last month.

Berkshire owns more than 80 companies and has major investments in American Express (NYSE:AXP), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Washington Post (NYSE:WPO), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), among others.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Aabha Rathee at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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