Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 8

I was able to attend the meeting this year and somehow got some reasonable notes. Since there seems to be some interest from those
who could not attend the meeting, I'll try and post some of my stuff.
These are not verbatim, of course, and there will likely be many mis-spellings.

After the actual business portion of the meeting (about 10-15 mins) WB started with:

Intro of Micky Newman and a reiteration of WB's time at Graham-Newman
(basically as told in the annual report) and emphasizing Mr. Newman's
energy behind the BRK FOL purchase.

Intro of Ralph Shea --runs Scott-Fetzer

Intro of the parents of Joe Brandon--runs GRN

Intro of Andy Hayward who produced the cartoon (in the BRK movie) of WB as James Bond. WB made special note of a cartoon produced by Mr. Hayward (has a cartoon production Co.) and upcoming on PBS called "Liberty's Kids" with kids as the main characters witnessing important events in American History (the kids are voiced by some well known actors).

WB Update on insurance "Insurance is our main business. We had a bad year last year. Our float cost us about 13%, not our worst year by the way. There has been a change and things look better. (Chart was shown 1st qtr 2002 results-to be posted on BRK website) Two good things: float increased by $1.8 bill., and the presence of an underwriting profit. Our goal: obtain more and more float at minimal cost. If there is an underwriting profit, the float use is free or better."

"We write lots of retroactive insurance; for many reasons companies want to cap their liability. They write us a check and we take over their losses for prior events for specific amounts. The accounting is such that it looks like we lose money (amortization, deferred charges etc). There is alot of room for judgement in how to amortize, how much to pay and how much we owe; our accounting is very conservative.(another chart-also to be on BRK site) Not many companies write this type of insurance. Our liability is always capped; there is alot of worry about asbestos, but remember the liability is capped-we don't care if we pay on asbestos or something else since there is a cap.We only care if our estimate of the speed of the payouts is correct."

"Geico's growth has been reasonable. We calculate each policy's value to us at about $1000. First qtr operating profit is a very good result. We're getting fewer inquiries than last year, but our closing ratio is better and our retention rate is better. These results are better than last year."

These remarks were followed by the questions which I also counted at forty (forty questioners, some had multiple questions). I hope this is helpful to some of you.


Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.