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Sat, Mar 10, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Job applicants vie for chance to work alongside Buffett


The job applications from investment managers who want to work with legendary investor Warren Buffett have started to pile up around Berkshire Hathaway Inc's office in the past week.

"We've gotten hundreds of those things so far," Buffett said in a telephone interview on Thursday afternoon. "I'm a little overwhelmed."

Buffett outlined his plan to hire one or more young investment managers in his annual letter to shareholders released on March 1. Berkshire plans to make one of the managers of its more than 60 different companies CEO when Buffett is gone, and one of the investment managers will become Berkshire's chief investment officer.

Buffett, 76, said in his letter that Berkshire's board agreed in October to seek outside candidates for the chief investment officer job because the best internal candidates are too close to Buffett's age.

Buffett joked that the job applicants shouldn't be intimidated by Berkshire's US$61.5 billion investment portfolio or the US$38.3 billion in cash the Omaha-based company held at the end of last year.

"I've always said my job is so easy a caveman could do it," Buffett said.

But in his shareholder letter, Buffett outlined some more rigorous criteria for the job.

Buffett said he's looking for someone who is emotionally stable, can avoid serious risks, think independently and read human behavior.

When it comes to Berkshire's next chief executive, Buffett has said the company board knows "who should take over if I should die tonight" and said the company has three outstanding internal candidates.

When the subject of succession came up in his letter, Buffett reassured shareholders that he was in excellent health: "It's amazing what Cherry Coke and hamburgers will do for a fellow."

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