Will 2018 Be Berkshire Hathaway's Best Year Yet?

Will 2018 Be Berkshire Hathaway's Best Year Yet?

Mr Buffett has named Gregory Abel, current chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, and Ajit Jain, who is now executive vice-president of Berkshire Hathaway-owned reinsurer National Indemnity Company, as the new board members.

Fehrman previously was CEO of MidAmerican Energy, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy; Adam Wright was promoted to that position.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 90 businesses in a variety of industries and is led by investor Warren Buffett. Buffett has recommended that Howard succeed him as chairman but not take an executive job at Berkshire.

Berkshire shares are up more than 25% in the past year (slightly ahead of the S&P 500) and topped $US300,000 each for the first time in December.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said Wednesday that the firm had no interest in jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. However he noted that there was "nothing magic" about the timing of the latest announcement. So it's very good for Berkshire.

The 87-year-old businessman now serves as chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway alongside vice chairman Charlie Munger, 94.

He declined to say how long he expected to remain at the helm but said: "Ten years would be a long time". "They've both got Berkshire in their blood".

Mr Buffett praised Mr Abel and Mr Jain, calling them "key figures" at the company.

Abel has used big acquisitions to help expand Berkshire Hathaway Energy, but had a setback a year ago when his $9 billion offer for Texas power transmission company Oncor was trumped by a higher bid from San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

The unit serves the central and western United States, Alberta, Canada and Britain, and operates HomeServices of America, the majority owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and one of the largest US residential real estate brokerages.

Buffett has said Jain may be irreplaceable as head of Berkshire's insurance division, which makes up roughly half of Berkshire's businesses and generates billions of dollars to invest elsewhere.

In a statement, Berkshire said the Buffett-Munger duo would still be responsible "for significant capital allocation decisions and investment activities". Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, the two investment managers that Berkshire hired in recent years, will be the chief stock pickers.

Visa will stop requiring signatures for purchases made in North America using chip-card technology, a win for big bricks-and-mortar retailers that could help them cut the cost of accepting plastic.

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