Buffett’s Belief in Todd Combs and Ted Weschler Continues to Grow

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, the former hedge fund managers that Warren Buffett hired to manage a portion of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock portfolios, have continued to see their portfolios grow.

Combs was hired in 2010, and Weschler was hired in 2011, and each was initially given a billion dollar portfolio to separately manage. Over the past five years Buffett has increased their portfolios as he has grown confident in their abilities, with the portfolios reaching $7 billion each in 2014.

Those portfolios have now reached $9 billion each, according to information in Warren Buffett’s 2015 annual shareholder’s letter.

The total stock holdings for Berkshire total a whopping $132 billion.

As Warren Buffett’s handpicked protégés, Buffett has praised their success, noting that “They have made Berkshire billions already that we wouldn’t have otherwise made,” Buffett said on CNBC in 2014. “They both have a fundamental combination of soundness and brilliance.”

That brilliance has certainly played out big in 2014 and 2015.

It was Todd Combs’s belief in aerospace manufacturer Precision Castparts that directly led to Buffett’s $32 billion acquisition of the company.

“You have to give Todd Combs credit for the deal,” Buffett said, noting that he had never heard of the company before Combs brought it to his attention. ”Todd told me a lot about it, and over the last few years I have become familiar with it,” he added.

Another winner was Combs and Weschler’s positions in DirecTV in 2014. The satellite broadcaster’s acquisition by AT&T brought an over $3 billion windfall for Berkshire, as its 4.5 million shares were purchased at roughly half the tender price of $95 per share offered by AT&T.

Sooner or later, the day will come when the entire Berkshire portfolio will be in Todd Combs and Ted Weschler’s hands, and Berkshire’s shareholders will be able to sleep well at night knowing it is well-managed.

© 2016 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.