Berkshire Hathaway Seeks Chief Investment Officer

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Berkshire Hathaway is looking for a new chief investment officer. No pressure: The job only entails replacing one of the most highly regarded investors of all time.

Yes, Warren Buffett says he's searching for an investor who is "genetically programmed to recognize and avoid serious risks, including those never before encountered." Writing in Berkshire Hathaway's annual report, Buffett warns, "Certain perils that lurk in investment strategies cannot be spotted by use of the models commonly employed today by financial institutions."

Buffett believes the ideal candidate will offer "independent thinking, emotional stability, and a keen understanding of both human and institutional behavior." And, age is a factor: Buffett would like to recruit someone who's younger than his 76 years, though he admits retaining an executive of high caliber he seeks might be a problem. "Being able to list Berkshire on a resume would materially enhance the marketability of an investment manager," he observes. "We will need, therefore, to be sure we can retain our choice, even though he or she could leave and make much more money elsewhere."

Buffett says he may hire several candidates as part of the selection process.

Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio today contains stocks worth more than $61 billion, $28 billion in fixed-income securities and cash of about $43 billion, says The Wall Street Journal.

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