Warren Buffett - The Investment Guru

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN027
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1970-2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Berkshire Hathaway group of companies
Industry : Investment
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Building the Empire

After taking over Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett along with the management team tried to turnaround the company but failed. Meanwhile, Buffett, through Berkshire Hathaway, started acquiring a controlling stake in insurance companies. In 1967, Berkshire Hathaway bought outstanding stock10 in two insurance companies, National Indemnity Company and National Fire & Marine Insurance Company. When Buffett acquired a stake in these companies, insurance was one of the most profitable businesses. In 1967, National Indemnity had reported $1.6 million net income for $16.8 million premiums collected. By the next year, its net income increased to $2.2 million on premiums of $20 million...

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

Lessons in Investing

Buffett's investment strategies received worldwide attention from security analysts. Graham's influence on Buffett was evident in these strategies. Buffett was also influenced by Philip A. Fisher14...

Buffett's Management Style

Berkshire Hathaway was the 25th largest private employer in the US with 1,45,000 employees on its payrolls. One of Buffett's driving principles was to acquire businesses with good management teams and to avoid interfering in their day-to-day business. According to his admirers, Buffett had excellent people judging skills. Rich Santulli, CEO, NetJets, said, "He is the best judge of human talent there is. And people want to work for him."20 In Berkshire Hathaway, it was noted that in the 38 years of its history, no single employee in the top management level left to join another company...  

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10]  The shares of a company that have been issued and are owned by the public.

14]  Philip A. Fisher was one of the first investment philosophers. He graduated from the Stanford Graduate Investment Program and started his career as a security analyst for a bank in San Francisco. Later in 1932, he founded an investment-counseling firm called Fisher & Co. He authored three books on security analysis. His most famous work, 'Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits,' was considered a classic investment theory book.

20]  The Oracle of Everything, Fortune, October 27, 2002


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