January 19, 2018 / 1:55 AM / 2 years ago

Possible Buffett successor Jain reports $109 million Berkshire stake

(Reuters) - Ajit Jain, who was recently appointed a vice chairman of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), on Thursday reported ownership of roughly $109 million of the conglomerate’s stock.

FILE PHOTO: Ajit Jain, who runs some of Berkshire's insurance operations, plays a game of bridge during Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 3, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Jain directly owns $21.7 million of Berkshire stock, and indirectly owns $87.5 million of Berkshire stock held by his wife, a family non-profit foundation and two family trusts, according to a regulatory filing.

Berkshire last week appointed Jain, 66, its top reinsurance executive, as vice chairman for insurance operations such as the Geico auto insurer and General Re reinsurer.

It also appointed Gregory Abel, 55, the longtime chief of its Berkshire Hathaway Energy unit, as vice chairman for non-insurance operations such as the BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream.

Both were also named Berkshire directors.

Many investors and analysts said the appointments confirmed that Abel and Jain are the top contenders to replace Buffett, 87, as Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s chief executive officer.

It has been easier, through filings by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, to track Abel’s financial stake in Berkshire than Jain’s.

Abel’s compensation totaled $58.3 million in 2015 and 2016 combined, mainly from incentive pay and bonuses.

He also owned a Berkshire Hathaway Energy stake last February that could be converted at the time into more than $400 million of Berkshire stock.

Buffett, who has run Berkshire since 1965, has not signaled any plans to leave, and has long said he loves his job. He owns roughly one-sixth of Berkshire, and is worth $91.5 billion according to Forbes magazine.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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