Who will succeed Warren Buffett as chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.? It’s one of the most guarded secrets in the business world. That didn’t stop JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s new Berkshire analyst from placing odds on one man. “The most likely successor in our view, who Warren Buffett regularly praises, is Greg Abel,” JPMorgan’s Sarah DeWitt said in a note released Thursday, initiating coverage of the company.
Don’t count Buffett out yet, though. The billionaire investor, who turned 87 last month, “shows no signs of slowing and could possibly be at the helm for another decade in our view,” she wrote. Abel, 55, is the head of Berkshire’s utility businesses.
He’s often mentioned by analysts and investors as a leading contender to replace Buffett, along with reinsurance executive Ajit Jain. Both managers were praised by Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger in 2015 as “world leading” executives who are in some ways better than Buffett.