Day at Berkshire Hathaway: Lunch With Warren Buffett
KCFE and Kellogg Asset Management Practicum students visited Berkshire Hathaway for a tour of the Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheims, both Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries. In addition, students joined Warren Buffet for lunch and a two-hour Q&A Session. A few student takeaways:
Who you associate with matters.
Mr. Buffett shared several stories about how surrounding himself with great thinkers had "pushed him further than he ever thought possible." Whether it was his long-time business partner Charlie Munger or his professional idol and teacher Ben Graham, Buffett explained that he wouldn't be who he was today without being pushed by others.
Culture and loyalty are two of the most important aspects of a business.
Mr. Buffett made a video and distributed it to every Benjamin Moore paint dealer after acquiring the company. In the video he promised dealers he would not sell through big retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. Stressing that Buffett understood dealer's had invested their lives and family's livelihood into the building and growing their independent stores. Buffett promised to stand by them and together they would build the brand. In 2014, a new CEO of Benjamin Moore attempted to enter into a sales agreement with Lowes. Buffett intervened and stopped the transaction. At "Day at Berkshire", he explained to students that if Benjamin Moore sold at Lowes, it would be the end for independent dealers. Benjamin Moore was part of Berkshire; they took care of employees as if they were part of a family business. Buffett kept his promise and hoped that independent dealers felt his loyalty and commitment to the Benjamin Moore culture.
"I really enjoyed hearing his perspectives on business and life as well as spending more time with the rest of the Kellogg crew that went. It was really a highlight of my Kellogg career."
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