Monthly Archives: July 2020

Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities Save $13.19 Million in Q2 2020 Thanks to EIM

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Two of Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, saved a combined $13.19 million in Q2 2020 through the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has released its western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) 2020 second-quarter benefits report that shows total savings have reached $1 billion since the market’s launch in November 2014.

In 2014, Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s PacifiCorp agreed to become the first participant in the Energy Imbalance Market. Berkshire’s NV Energy, which serves 2.4 million customers in Nevada, commenced participation on December 1, 2015.

The western EIM platform automatically finds and delivers low-cost energy to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Optimizing diverse resources from a large geographic area enables more effective use of carbon-free generation besides reducing costs.

The Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), is operated by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), and is averaging $1 million daily combined benefits for the eleven participating utilities.

ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich, who’s retiring from the ISO later this summer, envisioned the western real-time market to optimize resources and integrate high amounts of renewable energy while improving the reliable operation of the grid. “This milestone demonstrates the Western EIM is providing significant operational efficiencies and greater integration of variable resources for its participants,” said Berberich. “As many entities strive to meet the demands of the quickly evolving grid, the Western EIM will continue to be an important market for supporting a cleaner, greener system in the West.”

“This benefits milestone shines a spotlight on the value of regional collaboration,” said ISO Board of Governors Chair David Olsen. “The ISO will build on this momentum, together with its Western EIM partners, to develop even more efficient ways to share resources and improve reliability west-wide, in order to further reduce costs and emissions for all.”

John Prescott, Chair of Western EIM’s Governing Body, said that as the Western EIM continues to grow, so too will the benefits. “The Western Energy Imbalance Market is helping utilities and participants across the West use their energy resources much more efficiently, while reducing costs to their consumers,” Chair Prescott said. “With the EIM slated to see record growth by adding 10 balancing authorities over the next two years, the Governing Body looks forward to seeing the valuable regional coordination grow tremendously.”

With increasing levels of variable resources on the grid, such as solar and wind, there are times when output from these resources exceed demand for electricity. To balance the grid, those resources are often curtailed. Through the Western EIM and regional collaboration, clean energy resources are transferred across a large geographic area to serve demand where needed, leading to a reduction in curtailments for the second quarter of the year by 147,514 megawatt hours (MWh), and 1.24 million MWh overall since 2015.

With the increased generation of carbon-free energy, the cumulative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 533,381 metric tons, or the equivalent of taking 112,141 passenger cars off the road.

Additionally, operators are seeing qualitative benefits from the increased visibility and resource options available, especially during times such as the evening ramp or the variable nature of storm cloud cover.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BYD Receives $316 Million Order from California for PPE

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China’s BYD, a world leader in electric vehicles, monorails, and batteries, is now one of the world leaders in PPE. As COVID-19 spiked worldwide demand for facemasks, BYD pivoted and started making both N95 masks and surgical masks. And with the pandemic resurging in California, the state has signed a $316 million deal with BYD to supply 420 million N95 masks and surgical masks for California.

In June, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California-based BYD North America had received certification from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to produce N95 respirators for the state.

Cal OES had made NIOSH certification of N95 masks an explicit requirement of the contract with BYD so that California’s doctors, nurses and other front-line workers can be confident that the N95 masks they receive from the state are of the highest quality and meet federal health and safety standards.

“Providing California’s front-line health care workers and responders the protective equipment they need is a critical part of our response to COVID-19. This new supply of N95 masks, as well as the surgical masks this contract has already provided, are game-changing and play a crucial role in our state’s public safety and reopening strategy,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at the time of its June combined order for 260 million N95 and surgical masks.

The state has already received hundreds of millions of masks from BYD, and the new order will be significantly cheaper than the previous order. The state will receive 120 million N95 masks for $2.13 per N95 mask and 300 million surgical masks at $0.20 per mask.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Susan Adzick is New Leader of McLane Foodservice

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Berkshire Hathaway’s McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, announced that Susan Adzick has assumed leadership of McLane Foodservice as president, effective July 20, 2020.

McLane Foodservice’s former president, Tom Zatina, has been named executive vice president and chief strategy officer of McLane Company.

Adzick was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of McLane Foodservice in January, as part of a planned transition to president this summer. Adzick has contributed invaluable leadership to the Foodservice division for more than 20 years.

“When Susan Adzick’s promotion was announced in January, I could not have envisioned the challenging circumstances that 2020 would bring to our business and to our country,” says Grady Rosier, president and CEO of McLane. “During these uncertain times, Susan has demonstrated a steady hand, thoughtful leadership, and unwavering stewardship of McLane’s beliefs and values. Her performance this year has reinforced my confidence that she is the right individual to lead McLane Foodservice.”

Zatina, who served as president of McLane Foodservice for 14 years, also began his new corporate role on July 20, 2020. As executive vice president and chief strategy officer of McLane, Zatina will lead key projects that are critical to driving process improvements and will enhance McLane’s capabilities in meeting current strategic objectives.

“In Tom Zatina’s tenure as president, he has been successful in growing McLane Foodservice into one of the largest foodservice suppliers in the industry,” says Adzick. “His commitment has had an immeasurable impact on McLane, our teammates, and our stakeholders.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Johns Manville Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville, a global building and specialty products manufacturer, has named Sabine Schmidt as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, effective on September 1.

“Sabine brings a breadth of financial experience at Johns Manville and in the industry to her new position,” said Bob Wamboldt, President of JM’s Insulation Systems business. “Her expertise will serve JM well as we strive to be the Employer of Choice and Supplier of Choice in the markets we serve. We are delighted Sabine will be part of our leadership team.”

Wamboldt will become JM’s President and CEO at the same time Schmidt assumes her new job. Greg Clarke, JM’s current CFO, will become President of the Insulation Systems business.

“Johns Manville is in great hands with these experienced leaders in their new roles,” said Mary Rhinehart, JM’s President and CEO. “I am confident we will continue delighting our customers, adding value and delivering positive JM Experiences that position JM well into the future.”

Rhinehart will continue as Chairman of Johns Manville when the leadership changes take effect this fall.

Schmidt joined JM in 2006 as the Corporate FP&A Manager. She was later promoted to Finance Director, Engineered Products North America. Schmidt assumed her current job of Director of Finance for JM’s Insulation Systems business in 2012.

In her new role, Schmidt will be responsible for all global financial functions and corporate development activities for the company.

Before joining Johns Manville, Schmidt held several jobs at Fortune 100 automotive supplier Dana Corporation. She began her career in internal audit for both the U.S. and Europe and gained increasing responsibility throughout her six-year tenure there, including jobs as Plant Controller for both an axle assembly plant and unionized drive shaft manufacturing plant. Sabine later worked at Holcim as Corporate Manufacturing Controller and was responsible for all aspects of operations accounting and controllership for 12 cement plants.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Pilot Company Announces Leadership Changes

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Pilot Company, the leading supplier of fuel and the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced today that CEO Jimmy Haslam will become chairman of the board on January 1, 2021, and has named Shameek Konar, the company’s chief strategy officer, as CEO at that time.

As a family operated company for 62 years, Founder James (Jim) Haslam and Jimmy Haslam will remain involved in the business as chairman emeritus and chairman, respectively. The transition of Konar to the role of CEO will continue over the next six months.

“Since day one with Pilot in 2017, Shameek has shown his dedication to advancing our company and the industry,” said Jimmy Haslam, current CEO of Pilot Company. “Shameek has successfully launched and grown our Pilot Energy business and become a key member of our leadership team. His knowledge of the energy sector, including expertise in the acquisition, development and operations of infrastructure assets and resources, and his deep appreciation of Pilot’s culture and values are a few of the reasons why we chose him to be our next CEO. We have full confidence that Shameek will continue to grow the legacy of our family’s business.”

Konar has had a strong track record throughout his career with more than 20 years of experience in the energy and commodity market focusing on acquiring, integrating and optimizing assets. He has a degree in Economics and Mathematics from St. Stephens College in India and a PhD in Economics and Finance from Vanderbilt University.

“Thanks to Jimmy and Ken Parent’s leadership, we are well positioned for what’s ahead and have an incredible team to get us there,” said Konar, chief strategy officer at Pilot. “When joining the Pilot family, I was immediately drawn to the strong culture that Jimmy and the entire Haslam family created. As CEO, I will be deeply committed to keeping those values in place and investing in our team, while also working to better serve our guests, advance our goals and continue to strategically grow the business.”

Effective immediately, Konar will take on additional responsibilities, including the management of technology, HR, finance and legal. The real estate team will continue to report to Jimmy Haslam and the store operations and development teams will continue to report to Ken Parent, president. As CEO, store operations and development will be added to Konar’s role in 2021.

In January, Parent will become senior advisor to the CEO and the chairman, providing guidance on strategy and key priorities for the company. Parent has helped the company achieve significant growth through the development of successful systems and processes, as well as building an outstanding leadership team. The rest of Pilot’s management team will stay in place.

In 2021 and beyond, the Haslam family will continue to be involved. In addition to Jim and Jimmy, Whitney Haslam Johnson will continue to serve as chief experience officer and member of the board, and Bill Haslam will serve on the board.

Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot

In 2017, Berkshire Hathaway made a $2.76 billion investment in Pilot Travel Centers, and Berkshire will become the majority owner in 2022.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Mouser Electronics Honored by Top Electronic Component Manufacturers

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Mouser Electronics, Inc., the industry’s leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor with the widest selection of semiconductors and electronic components, is pleased to announce that it has received over 20 top business awards from its manufacturer partners for impeccable distribution performance during 2019 and 2020.

Manufacturers gave a variety of reasons for the awards, including best-in-class global logistics, digital excellence, double-digit sales growth, fastest new product introductions (NPIs), commitment to teamwork, investment in inventory and breadth of inventory, successful marketing campaigns, customer growth, and expanding footprint.

“Mouser is immensely grateful to our manufacturer partners for these top recognitions,” said Jeff Newell, Senior Vice President of Products at Mouser Electronics. “These awards honor the hard work and dedication to exceptional customer service inherent to all of our teams.”

Performance awards for excellence in 2019 and 2020 include:

TE Connectivity – Global High Service Distributor of the Year
Amphenol Corporation – 2019 High Service Digital Performance
Vishay Intertechnology – 2019 Americas Catalog Distributor of the Year; 2019 High Service Distribution Award for EMEA; 2019 Americas Catalog Passive Distributor of the Year
Molex – 2019 Global E-Catalog Distributor of the Year; 2019 Americas E-Catalog Distributor of the Year; 2019 Europe E-Catalog Distributor of the Year; 2019 APAC E-Catalog Distributor of the Year
KEMET – High Service Distributor of the Year Award for Fiscal Year 2020
Littelfuse – High Service Distributor of the Year
Bel Fuse, Inc. – 2019 Distributor of the Year
Digilent – Distributor of the Year
TDK Europe – European Senten Manten Bronze Award 2019 — High-Service Distributor
MEAN WELL – 2019 North American Distributor of the Year
Eaton – 2019 Distributor Engagement Award
Neutrik – Distributor of the Year; Outstanding Performance of the Year; Supplier Manager of the Year: Ryan Virostek
Altech – 2019 Sales Achievement Award
ECS Inc. – 2019 Distributor of the Year
Schaffner – Distribution Product Manager of the Year: Leticia Gomez

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BYD Takes on Tesla With Han EV series

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BYD has officially launched its new Han EV series, the brand’s long-awaited flagship offering for the global mid-to-large luxury sedan market, including three pure electric models and one hybrid model.

The Han EV will be sold in China at first. Its extended-range version will sell at 229,800 RMB, the extended-range variant of the premium model will be priced at 255,800 RMB, and the 4WD high-performance version will sell at 279,500 RMB. Besides, the PHEV version, Han DM, will sell at 219,800 yuan.

Among its safety features, the car uses BYD’s ultra-safe Blade Battery.

With BYD being no stranger to pioneering in the industry, the Han series continues to break new ground. The Han EV’s long-range pure electric version has a remarkable single-charge range of 605 kilometers (376 miles) based on the NEDC test cycle. The four-wheel-drive high-performance version possesses an acceleration of 0 to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds, making it China’s fastest EV in production, while the DM (Dual Mode) plug-in hybrid model offers 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, making it the country’s fastest hybrid sedan.

The Han series will create a new global standard for EV technology and quality, shaking up the traditional luxury car market while accelerating the global shift to electric vehicles. Named after one of the most celebrated dynasties in Chinese history, the Han series also demonstrates the country’s growing manufacturing prowess.

The Han has taken ten years from the concept stage to formal mass production,” which Wang Chuanfu, President of BYD, likened to “ten years of sharpening a brilliant sword.” He added, “Through our leading technologies, we have created three benchmarks for flagship EVs in terms of safety, performance, and luxury.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million has grown in value almost ten-fold.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Appoints National Product Line Leaders for UK, Opens New Office in Manchester

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has appointed Irfan Esa as UK National Property Manager, Gemma McKenzie, as UK National Casualty Manager, and James Burke as UK National Executive & Professional Lines Manager. All three will be based out of BHSI’s newly established office in Manchester.

“We are pleased to expand our on-the-ground capabilities in the UK, installing stellar product leadership and the foundation to continue to grow our team in our new office in Manchester,” said Chris Colahan, Head of UK & Europe, BHSI. “With this leadership team, coupled with Mark Walker, Head of Customer & Broker Engagement for the UK, we look forward to expanding our local market relationships – and spreading BHSI’s clear-cut, customer-focused underwriting and CLAIMS IS OUR PRODUCT philosophy to customers throughout the UK.”

Irfan comes to BHSI with more than 17 years of experience in technical property underwriting in the UK. Gemma brings more than 20 years of UK casualty underwriting experience to her role at BHSI. James has 16 years of industry experience spanning all financial lines in the UK.

BHSI in Manchester is initially providing property, casualty and executive & professional lines with a large account focus in the region. In collaboration with specialty teams in BHSI’s London office, the new Manchester office will also offer a full spectrum of additional coverages in the UK, including marine, transactional liability, construction, and life sciences coverages.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Expands Homeowners Coverage to Missouri, Washington, and Wisconsin

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Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, a property and casualty insurance specialist writing $2 billion in premium nationwide, recently announced it has added Missouri, Washington, and Wisconsin to the list of states where the insurer offers its Homeowners product.

“Our goal is to become a ‘One Stop Shop’ for our agents and their insureds,” said Sy Foguel, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD CEO. “We continue to expand our portfolio to supply our network of independent agents with quality products that enable them to grow. With these three states, we now offer our Personal Lines products in 15 states with plans for further expansion in the months ahead.”

Senior VP of Personal Lines Dovid Tkatch explains that “We are very pleased with the results we’ve already experienced in our previous states, and we fully expect to see that trend continue. Our success can be attributed to Berkshire Hathaway GUARD providing a quality, easily understood product along with a high level of service to both agents and policyholders.”

GUARD’s insurance product targets dwellings valued over $75,000 and includes one- to four-family residences, renters, and condo units (both owner-occupied and those held for rental). Tkatch explains, “By mixing and matching policy forms, endorsements, and optional coverages aimed at broader protection, policyholders can obtain property insurance suited to their circumstances. A Personal Umbrella with limits up to $5,000,000 is also available.”

According to GUARD’s spokesperson and Assistant Vice President of Marketing Elizabeth Hartman, “We believe we can provide a great service to agents that write both commercial and personal accounts. We feature a competitively priced product with a variety of available discounts, including one for insureds who have commercial policies with GUARD. We also believe certain aspects of our underwriting appetite are unique and will appeal to producers anxious to cross-sell and achieve a greater client share.”

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

HomeServices of America Appoints Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

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Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has appointed Teresa Palacios Smith as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for HomeServices and its subsidiaries, including its family of brokerage, mortgage, insurance, settlement-services, and relocation companies, and HSF Affiliates, which operates the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living franchise networks.

In her role, Palacios Smith will lead HomeServices’ employee- and agent-diversity programs, cultivate a culture of equity and inclusion, and champion the company’s goal of increasing minority homeownership.

“There’s no place like home. Our home is a place that we associate with acceptance, family, love, safety, and belonging,” said Palacios Smith. “HomeServices exemplifies this and I’m honored to lead the diversity and inclusion efforts of a company that values its people, promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cherishes homeownership and fair housing for all.”

Palacios Smith began her career as a successful real estate agent and served on Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties’ management team. In 2017, she joined HSF Affiliates as its Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living franchise networks.

During her more than 20 years in the real estate industry, Palacios Smith has been a national speaker and trainer who has focused on emerging markets, unconscious bias, and real estate trends in diverse market segments. She is serves on the boards of many of the country’s top housing organizations that focus on supporting people from traditionally underserved communities and is recognized for her dedication to expanding and celebrating leadership opportunities in real estate for women. She is a past president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), one of the largest associations of minority real estate professionals in the country, and a cofounder of the NAHREP’s Atlanta chapter. In 2019, she received the Diversity Leader Award from the National Association of Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem. In May 2018, she was honored by RISMedia with the Newsmaker award and was inducted, along with HomeServices’ executive chair Ron Peltier, into RISMedia’s Hall of Fame.

© 2020 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.