Buffett picks Doug Kass as 'bear' panelist for annual meeting

Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:11pm EST

Warren Buffett has found his "credentialed bear" panelist - hedge fund manager Doug Kass - for this year's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) annual meeting.

Kass will fill the third slot on an analyst panel at the meeting, Buffett said on Monday.

Last Friday, Buffett said in his annual letter to shareholders that he wanted to spice up the panel with someone who was bearish on - and preferably short - Berkshire's stock. As of late Friday, he still had not found that person.

But in an interview on CNBC Monday morning, Buffett said he had chosen Kass, the president of Seabreeze Partners Management in Florida and a well-known media personality in his own right. He has a short position in Berkshire's more actively traded Class B shares (BRKb.N).

"Bring your tough questions," Buffett said. "See if you can drive the stock down 10 percent."

Kass took to Twitter to say: "I am going to Disneyland, I mean Omaha!" to take part in the meeting in May.

"I am surprised, honored and flattered," he said in a follow-up email to his contacts.

The analyst panel was a new innovation at Berkshire's 2012 annual meeting, although in that instance it was comprised of three sell-side insurance analysts.

This year the panel will have one insurance analyst, Cliff Gallant of Nomura Securities; one investor, Jonathan Brandt of Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb; and Kass.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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