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Warren Buffett reveals a big change to this year's annual shareholder meeting

Julia La Roche
Correspondent

Warren Buffett just announced a major tweak to the format of Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-ABRK-B) famed Annual Meeting, informing shareholders that vice chairs Ajit Jain and Greg Abel will take part in the question and answer session.

“I’ve had suggestions from shareholders, media and board members that Ajit Jain and Greg Abel – our two key operating managers – be given more exposure at the meeting. That change makes great sense. They are outstanding individuals, both as managers and as human beings, and you should hear more from them,” Buffett wrote in his widely-read annual letter released on Saturday.

Every year, nearly 40,000 shareholders from across the globe descend on Omaha, Nebraska to listen to Buffett, 89, and his right-hand man Charlie Munger, 96, answer questions and deliver investing wisdom, life advice, and the occasional quip.

Ajit Jain, right, head of the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group, plays bridge with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, a director of Berkshire, at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, May 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

In recent years, though, especially with questions surrounding succession popping up, some have wondered why Jain and Abel haven’t been given more visibility at the annual meeting. According to Buffett, shareholders will be able to direct their questions to them.

“They, like Charlie and me, will not have even a hint of what the questions will be. The journalists will alternate questions with those from the audience, who also can direct questions to any of the four of us. So polish up your zingers,” he wrote.

Greg Abel of Berkshire Hathaway (AP)

Jain and Abel, who joined Berkshire in 1986 and 1992, respectively, were added to Berkshire Hathaway’s board in January 2018, after the board voted to increase the number of directors from 12 to 14. At the time, Jain became the vice-chairman of insurance operations, while Abel stepped into the role of vice-chairman of the non-insurance business operations.

This year’s meeting will take place on May 2. Yahoo Finance will have an exclusive livestream of the entire day.

Mark your calendars!

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Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo FinanceFollow her on Twitter.

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