‘Architect’ of the present Berkshire: Warren Buffett pays tribute to Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger, who died in November last year, was the ‘architect of the present Berkshire,’ said Warren Buffett as he remembered his business partner of 60 years who helped Buffett transform Berkshire Hathaway Inc. from a textile maker to the conglomerate that it is today.

Warren Buffett, left, and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, briefly chat with reporters May 3, 2019, one day before Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Buffett paid tribute to his closest associate in his annual letter, the first one since Munger’s demise.

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“In reality, Charlie was the ‘architect’ of the present Berkshire, and I acted as the ‘general contractor’ to carry out the day-by-day construction of his vision. Charlie never sought to take credit of his role as creator, but instead let me take the bows and receive the accolades. In a way, his relationship with me was part older brother, part loving father,” the billionaire investor, one of the wealthiest persons in the world, wrote in the letter.

Buffett then remembered how, in 1965, Munger offered him a piece of advice: ‘Forget about ever buying another company like Berkshire.’

“But now that you control Berkshire, add to it wonderful businesses purchased at fair prices and give up buying fair businesses at wonderful prices. In other words, abandon everything you learned from your hero, Ben Graham. It works but only when practiced at small scale,” Buffett quoted the late vice chairman as saying.

“With much back-sliding, I subsequently followed his instructions,” he added.

Benjamin Graham, known as ‘the father of value investing,’ taught investing for many years at Columbia Business School, with one of his students there being none other than Warren Buffett.

“Berkshire has become a great company. Though I have long been in charge of the construction crew, Charlie should forever be credited with being the architect,” Buffett further wrote.

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