Hedge Fund Manager Tapped As Buffett Successor

Sep 12 2011 | 2:29pm ET

For the third time in little more than a year, Berkshire Hathaway has hired an obscure hedge fund manager as a potential successor to Warren Buffett—one who bought his way to Buffett's attention.

Ted Wechsler of Peninsula Capital Partners will start with only a small piece of Berkshire's $66 billion. But when the 81-year-old Buffett steps aside, Wechsler and Todd Combs, the hedge fund manager hired by Berkshire last year, will manage the company's stock and bond investments, possibly with a third person, Berkshire said in a statement today.

"With Todd and Ted on board, Berkshire is well-positioned for successor investment management at the time Mr. Buffett is no longer CEO," Berkshire said.

Wechsler has won the past two auctions to dine with Buffett—a meal he offers for charity annually. All told, Wechsler paid in excess of $5 million for what amounted to a job interview; Buffett asked him to join Berkshire at the second dinner, an offer Wechsler accepted within weeks.

Like Combs, who shuttered his Castle Point Capital, Wechsler told investors in his Charlottesville, Va.-based fund that he'll wind it down before joining Berkshire early next year. Peninsula manages about $2 billion. Another hedge fund manager tapped as a possible Buffett replacement, Li Lu, continues to work for his own firm.

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