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Berkshire’s Jain Tells Gen Re Staff to Fix ‘Problem’ With Costs

  • Five-page memo outlines reinsurer’s challenges, opportunities
  • Buffett gave Jain oversight of Gen Re after Montross’s exit

Ajit Jain, one of Warren Buffett’s top managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has a message for the staff that he oversees at Gen Re: It’s time for their business to get much leaner and less bureaucratic.

After taking charge of the reinsurer this year and installing a longtime deputy to lead the operation, Jain sent a memo to employees detailing five areas, including compensation and sales channels, where changes should be made. He also called for increasing business unit autonomy, accepting modifications on the terms of some risk-transfer deals and reducing complexity.