Here's The All-Too-Reasonable Reason Why Buffett Can't Get A Big Name Investor To Berkshire

Yesterday, we brought you the more details on two of the newest hires at Berkshire Hathaway. 

While both men have solid track records as professional investors, they are a long way away from replicating the luster of Buffett or coming even close.

In fact, it’s notable that of all the big names that have been kicked around over the last decade or so as potential successors to Buffett, none have made the move Omaha.

Why not? Another bit of news from Berkshire might explain the company’s talent recruitment problem: it’s returns.

Specifically, it’s returns relative to the S&P 500. This year they lagged behind the Buffett’s self-imposed benchmark by 4.7%.

Buffett has warned in the past that underperformance of the benchmark would be possible, but it must be troubling that a portfolio designed specifically to weather financial storms, lost out to the S&P while the index was flat on the year. 

What does this have to do with hiring star managers? Buffett insists, correctly in my view, that investment managers and other senior executives at Berkshire be compensated based on their performance against the S&P. 

Add to that the significant amount of Berkshire stock tied up in Buffett’s philanthropic pledge and he is left with few incentives to attract new talent. 

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