Buffett's Ex-Hedge Fund Managers Outperform Oracle

Jan 21 2014 | 10:54am ET

Warren Buffett is proving to have as keen an eye for talent as he has for investment opportunity. In fact, if last year's any indication, he's an even better talent scout than he is an investor.

Two former hedge fund managers hired by the Berkshire Hathaway chief a few years ago to eventually succeed him outdid the Oracle of Omaha in 2013. Indeed, both Todd Combs and Ted Wechsler managed to beat the Standard & Poor's 500 Index's more than 30% return for the year, a feat that eluded the overwhelming majority of their former hedge-fund manager peers.

For his own part, Buffett failed to meet or exceed his own performance target for the first time in the nearly 50 years since he took control of Berkshire, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Combs and Wechsler, who also topped the S&P 500 in 2012, each manage about $7 billion of Berkshire's $100 billion portfolio. It is unclear exactly how well each did last year.

"They have helped Berkshire in significant ways that are not directly connected with investment management," Buffett told the Journal. "They'll both be huge assets for decades to come."

Buffett hired Combs, who ran Castle Point Capital, in 2010, and Wechsler, who ran Peninsula Capital partners, in 2011.

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