Skip to content
Subscriber Only

The Hidden Meaning Behind Buffett’s Hiring: Alice Schroeder

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Sometimes the cutesiness of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is part of its endearing charm. Sometimes it is a minor quirk to be brushed aside. Occasionally, it can mislead, as happened this week when Warren Buffett’s favorite scribe, Carol J. Loomis of Fortune magazine, began her insider’s report on the hiring of 50-year-old Ted Weschler, the founder of Peninsula Capital Advisors LLC, as a Berkshire investment manager. She wrote: “It is surely unprecedented for a person to spend $5,252,722 to get a job, but in a funny way, that is precisely what Ted Weschler, of Charlottesville, Virginia, did.”

At first blush, the Fortune description of the Weschler hiring wasn’t at all inspiring: A “cute meet” in which Weschler twice spent millions to win a charity auction for a meal with Buffett. At 81, the Berkshire chairman and chief executive officer is beginning to delegate his responsibilities for investing the company’s $100 billion portfolio to as many as three money managers. Those meetings led directly to Buffett offering Weschler one of the most prestigious jobs in asset management. “I should have bid higher,” a few people joked at a meeting of asset managers that I attended this week.