Berkshire Hathaway director Olson says Abel has the board’s total confidence

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders stroll by a video display on the firm’s annual assembly in Omaha Might 4, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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OMAHA, Neb., April 28 (Reuters) – Considered one of Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKa.N) longest-serving administrators on Thursday gave a full-throated endorsement to Greg Abel as designated successor to Warren Buffett when the billionaire steps down.

“He has the overall confidence not solely of Warren, however the board,” Ronald Olson, a detailed confidante of Buffett and a Berkshire director since 1997, mentioned on the Berkshire System Summit, hosted by the College of Nebraska at Omaha.

Abel, 59, had been the chief govt of what’s now Berkshire Hathaway Power, earlier than being named a vice chairman overseeing Berkshire’s non-insurance companies in 2018.

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Final Might, Buffett, 91, mentioned Abel was the board’s selection to switch him as CEO when obligatory. “The administrators are in settlement that if one thing had been to occur to me tonight, it could be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” Buffett mentioned a yr in the past.

Talking forward of Berkshire’s annual assembly which kicks off Friday, Olson praised Abel’s managerial abilities, saying “he understands numbers higher than anybody I have been round, he understands individuals higher than anybody I have been round.”

He additionally mentioned Abel has constructed a detailed relationship with Berkshire’s dozens of non-insurance subsidiaries, which additionally embrace companies within the manufacturing, railroad, retail and different sectors.

“There is no such thing as a query he is dropped at bear a more in-depth connection between the mum or dad firm and particular person subsidiaries,” Olson mentioned.

Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, 98, stay chargeable for main capital allocation selections, whereas Buffett handles the majority of Berkshire’s frequent inventory investments. One other vice chairman, Ajit Jain, oversees insurance coverage subsidiaries.

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Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Jonathan Stempel; Enhancing by Stephen Coates

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