Warren Buffett’s successor: Ajit Jain in fray; all about India-born IIT grad in race to lead Berkshire

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Updated: May 8, 2019 12:31:52 PM

Even though Warren Buffett may not have directly revealed who is likely to succeed him at Berkshire Hathaway, the legendary investor dropped a hint on the succession plans at the firm's recent Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathway, Ajit Jain, Berkshire Hathway CEO, Amazon, Silicon Valley firms, Kraft Heinz, Jeff Bezos, BNSFAjit Jain, 67, was promoted to the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway last year. (Photo: Reuters)

Even though Warren Buffett may not have directly revealed who is likely to succeed him at Berkshire Hathaway, the legendary investor dropped a hint on the succession plans at the firm’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). Gregory Able and Ajit Jain would join him and Charlie Munger in near future, the veteran investor said, without directly replying to the query.

There is nothing better than having operating managers like Greg and Ajit who have accomplished a lot, the market veteran said at the meeting. The India-born Ajit Jain, who is vice-chairman for insurance operations, even answered a question from the shareholder, though he did the same from the floor. Both star executives were promoted as the board of directors at Berkshire Hathaway in 2018.

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Warren Buffett, popularly known as ‘Oracle of Omaha, has heaped praises on Ajit Jain many times in the past on his ability to handle critical businesses with speed and decisiveness. The 88-year old investor had once wrote to Ajit’s parents praising his unique brain for insurance business.

About Ajit journey so far

Born and brought up in Odisha, Ajit Jain, 67, is an IIT Kharagpur graduate in Mechanical Engineering.  During the early years, he even worked as a salesman for IBM in India. In 1978, Ajit Jain moved to the US and completed MBA from Harvard University. He, thereafter, joined Mckinsey & Co. It was in the 1980s that he joined Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger-led Berkshire Hathaway.

Ajit Jain has earned more money for Berkshire Hathaway than he had, Warren Buffett was once reportedly quoted as saying. In 2014, the veteran investor had also said that Ajit Jain’s mind works like a factory of ideas which looks out for more lines of businesses.

Both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have been associated with Berkshire Hathaway for over four decades. The iconic company holds shares in top firms including American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, among others.

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