More details are slowly emerging about the Connecticut-based financial expert that Warren Buffett has chosen to oversee investments at Berkshire Hathaway. The billionaire has been trying to arrange succession planning at the company after his five decades in charge.
Greenwich hedge fund manager Todd Combs was tapped by Buffett last week to manage what was described as a substantial portion of Berkshire’s portfolio. 39-year-old Combs ran a Greenwich-based hedge fund called Castle Point Capital Management, with $400 million in assets. While in 2008, the broader hedge fund industry lost 19 percent on its investments, Combs managed to limit his losses to just under six percent.
It’s that kind of defensive strategy that’s thought to appeal to Buffett, the so-called Sage of Omaha, who has built a name for himself by outperforming the broader markets. Former colleagues have described Darien resident Combs as having a detailed, analytical approach, while maintaining a low key management style. In his own research notes to investors, Combs has stressed the need to identify all relevant risks in the businesses he invests in.
Buffett, who is now 80, has been looking for some time for an investment manager to take over some of his role in running Berkshire Hathaway, has been critical of hedge fund managers in the past. He’s spoken of the need to find a manager who is “genetically programmed” to avoid risk.