(Bloomberg News) Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. hired Ted Weschler to help oversee the company's investment portfolio and may add another fund manager as the firm prepares a new generation of leaders.
Weschler, 50, has told limited partners at his Charlottesville, Virginia-based Peninsula Capital Advisors LLC that he will be departing and will join Berkshire early next year, Buffett's company said today in a statement.
Berkshire plans to divide Buffett's responsibilities as chief investment officer among as many as three money managers. Buffett, 81, last year announced the hiring of hedge-fund manager Todd Combs.
"After Mr. Buffett no longer serves as CEO, Todd and Ted - - possibly aided by one additional manager - will have responsibility for the entire equity and debt portfolio of Berkshire, subject to overall direction by the then-CEO and board of directors," the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said in the statement. "With Todd and Ted on board, Berkshire is well- positioned for successor investment management at the time Mr. Buffett is no longer CEO."
Buffett, who also serves as chairman, will continue to manage most of Berkshire's funds until his retirement, according to the statement. Berkshire's stock portfolio was valued at more than $67 billion as of June 30, including the largest stakes in Coca-Cola Co., American Express Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.
Peninsula had about $2 billion in the stock of nine companies as of June 30, the firm said in a regulatory filing. The holdings included investments in satellite television provider DirecTV, specialty chemical-maker W.R. Grace & Co., and dialysis facility owner DaVita Inc., the filing showed.
"One of the things that Buffett is looking for is some really good talent that's probably under the radar screen," said David Rolfe, chief investment officer of Berkshire investor Wedgewood Partners Inc.
Rolfe said the next investment manger hired by Buffett may specialize in bonds. Berkshire's fixed maturity portfolio was valued at more than $35 billion, including non-U.S. government bonds and corporate debt.
Berkshire said in February that there are four potential candidates to replace Buffett as CEO, without naming them. The CEO will supervise more than 70 subsidiaries, while the investment heads will run portfolios that include premiums from insurance operations. Buffett has said his son, Howard Buffett, a Berkshire director, would be an effective non-executive chairman.
Berkshire said the search for investment managers intensified after the departure last year of Lou Simpson, 74, who oversaw investments at the Geico subsidiary.