Is Buffett’s successor already sitting next to him?

It seems to have taken some time to become newsworthy, however articles recently published in the American press have highlighted that in 2009, billionaire investor Warren Buffett hired a woman by the name of Tracey Britt as his financial assistant at Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE: BRK.B).

Ms Britt is currently 28 years of age and in recent days speculation seems to have mounted that Buffett may be preparing her to one day take over when he retires. It is understood that Buffett wanted Britt to have a full understanding of the recent multibillion-dollar H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) deal which Berkshire took part in. Given that Britt’s office adjoins Buffett’s, Britt is believed to have significant knowledge of the day-to-day business affairs and dealing that take place within the small and secretive head office in Omaha, Nebraska.

A company’s successor is always important but perhaps no more so than when a high profile CEO who has been instrumental in the development of a firm steps down. Recently two CEOs who were the face of their respective companies, Mr Paul Little at Toll Holdings (ASX: TOL) and Mr Frank O’Halloran at QBE Insurance (ASX: QBE) stepped down, leaving significant shoes for the incoming CEOs to fill.

Foolish takeaway

Companies have a duty to have a succession strategy in place. Buffett has said repeatedly that the board at Berkshire has identified candidates once he has gone – this of course adds to the intrigue surrounding Ms Britt. All too often a CEO departure is met with a “worldwide search” and the hiring of expensive recruitment firms. Shareholders deserve better than this.

In the market for high yielding ASX shares? Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in QBE Insurance and Toll Holdings.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.