Expert Talks Culture of 'Bread Breaking' at Berkshire Hathaway

May 4, 2018

Expert Talks Culture of 'Bread Breaking' at Berkshire Hathaway

By Richard Khavkine, Fordham News

For most CEOs, the companies that matter most have “Inc.,” “Corp.,” or “LLC” in their names.

Not so for Warren Buffett. To the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, says the author Lawrence Cunningham, the more indispensable companies have names like Chuck Akre, Tom Gayner, Ingrid Hendershot, and Tom Russo.

Those four are among thousands of Berkshire investors who have helped sustain the culture of integrity and trust Buffett has cultivated at the hugely successful Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate he has led since 1970—and with which he will forever be linked.

During a University Club talk on April 23 sponsored by the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis and the Museum of American Finance, Cunningham suggested that the foundation of Berkshire’s success can be traced to characteristics associated with the root definition of company, derived from the Old French compaignon, meaning that person with whom one breaks bread.

“It’s a family, it’s a community, it’s a culture, it’s a group,” Cunningham, a professor at the George Washington University Law School and author of The Essays of Warren Buffett, said of Berkshire’s investor collective. “That’s the culture that Warren built.”

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