Feb 25 (Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Eric Beech) - Legendary investor Warren Buffett said on Saturday that Berkshire Hathaway has identified who will succeed him as chief executive of the conglomerate, though he did not actually name the CEO-in-waiting.
Investors said the fact Berkshire made a choice was a relief, but speculation remains as to who the person might be. Following are some Berkshire executives seen as possible successors to Buffett:
Jain, a Berkshire veteran, has been repeatedly praised by Buffett for his running of the insurance business, which has grown from "a standing start in 1985" to one "with float of $34 billion and significant underwriting profits." On a visit to India early last year, Buffett skirted questions on his succession plan but praised Jain. "He loves what he does, he's not looking to take my job. If he was, the board of directors would probably put him in there in a minute," Buffett said.
Buffett has repeatedly called Abel a "terrific manager" and part of a "dream team" at the Berkshire-owned utility. In his most recent annual letter to shareholders, Buffett expressed his gratitude to Abel for his performance. The utility's profits rose 6.5 percent last year. Pictured: MidAmerican Energy Holdings wind plant in Iowa.
Rose joined Berkshire after selling the No. 2 U.S. railroad company to Buffett in 2010 for $26.4 billion, and in 2011 made it to a Vanity Fair magazine list of top four candidates to succeed Buffett. Burlington Northern's profit rose 21 percent in 2011.
Nicely has worked for Berkshire for half a century and runs perhaps its best-known business, at least to the general public. In the 18 years he has run the auto insurer, its market share has increased nearly five-fold. Some investors favor Nicely because he knows Berkshire's culture so well and could leave GEICO without disrupting its operations.