Did Greenlight’s Einhorn Reject Buffett?

Oct 28 2010 | 4:12am ET

Soon-to-be-former hedge fund manager Todd Combs may have been Warren Buffett’s third choice as one of his potential successors. Was David Einhorn the first?

The Wall Street blog Insider Monkey certainly thinks so. And it also thinks it knows why Einhorn turned down the opportunity to take over for the legendary Oracle of Omaha at Berkshire Hathaway: money.

Einhorn, who runs Greenlight Management, earns some $200 million a year, according to Insider Monkey. Buffett himself earns a $500,000 annual salary. The blog concludes, “David Einhorn is simply too expensive for Warren Buffett.”

But why Einhorn in the first place? Insider Monkey offers three good reasons and two, um, less good reasons. The blog cites his value investing and reinsurance backgrounds, as well as, of course, Greenlight’s impressive returns. Insider Monkey notes that the hedge fund has returned an annualized 22% after the fees that Buffett has frequently derided.

The other reasons? Einhorn is the same age as Combs, 42, and is a Midwesterner.

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