* New hire to manage $2 billion-$3 billion -report
* Compares to portfolio managed by GEICO executive
* Will be free to invest in all areas - report
NEW YORK, Nov 15 Warren Buffett's Berkshire
Hathaway (BRKa.N) will start new investment manager Todd Combs
with a limited portfolio of about $2 billion to $3 billion
while Buffett assesses his performance, Fortune magazine
reported on Monday.
That sum is much more than Combs managed at his Castle
Point fund, but smaller than the market may have expected. When
Berkshire announced Combs' hiring on Oct. 25, it said he would
run "a significant portion" of Berkshire's $100 billion-plus
The article by Fortune writer Carol Loomis -- Buffett's
long-time friend and a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder -- says
Combs' portfolio would be roughly the same size as that of Lou
Simpson, the famed investment manager who is retiring this year
after running the portfolio of auto insurer GEICO.
Fortune reported, citing Buffett, that Combs would also be
paid in a manner similar to Simpson: with salary and an
incentive plan linked to outperforming the S&P 500 index over a
Little is known about Combs, 39, though his financial
services-oriented fund has markedly outperformed its benchmark
over the last five years. Fortune said, again citing Buffett,
that Combs would be free to invest where he liked.
The magazine also said there is a possibility that one or
two more investment managers could be hired to work alongside
Combs. There has been speculation over whether Berkshire would
hire multiple investment managers -- and if so, how many -- to
take over for Buffett, 80, at some point.
For the Loomis article, click here:
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz. Editing by Robert MacMillan)