… There are more than 40 contributors to this volume. The information, opinions, and insights they provide will help those such as I who have never attended a Berkshire Annual Meeting (and/or related events) to understand and — yes — appreciate how much those several days in Omaha mean to attendees personally as well as professionally. Their reminiscences of Meetings past are especially enjoyable as well as informative.
… As Larry and Stephanie note in their brief but substantial Preface, the contributors “take us with them through the numerous events of the days before and after the Meeting, from Thursday to Sunday, including book signings, talks, panels; summits, seminars, conferences; and receptions, dinners, and group outings.”
….. With an informality they prefer and one certainly appropriate to the Berkshire community, Larry and Stephanie are to be commended for brilliant editing of the original material they obtained, and then, the equally brilliant presentation of it within an eminently sensible framework.
They and countless others help to ensure that, in Warren Buffett’s words, Berkshire’s Annual Meeting is “designed with an eye to reinforcing the Berkshire culture, and making it one that will repel and expel managers of a different bent. The culture grows stronger every year, and it will remain intact long after Charlie and I have left the scene.”
Lawrence A. Cunningham is an authority on corporate governance, corporate culture, and corporate law, and teaches business-related courses that span these fields. He has written dozens of books and scores of articles on a wide range of subjects in law and business. These include the leading textbook on accounting used in law schools, a popular narrative on contracts, and best-selling books on Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett (The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America and Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values). His extensive work has been published in top university reviews such as Columbia Law Review, influential professional journals such as Directors & Boards, and mainstream media such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Excerpted from Geico’s Tony Nicely’s essay, featured in “The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories From Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting,” edited by Lawrence Cunningham and Stephanie Cuba.
“Frankly, there is nothing quite like being there and seeing it all in person. I continue to be amazed how the audience sits on the edge of their chairs to hear what Charlie and Warren have to say, and most stay throughout the six-hour session.”
Author Lawrence Cunningham at the University of Nebraska yesterday morning for the Berkshire System Summit event, where he sold 15 copies of his book The Warren Buffett Shareholder before the event even started! Excellent work, and the hat looks great!
Berkshire’s shareholders are part of the company’s culture, which adds to its value. In my new book, “The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting,” 43 distinguished meeting veterans tell short stories of their experiences. I explain that the Warren Buffett shareholder is “interested yet patient, skeptical yet faithful, and serious yet fun.” Culling the experience of this seasoned group, who’ve collectively attended the meeting 750 times, I add:
Berkshire’s family of subsidiaries is often likened to an art collection, with Buffett the curator. It’s not a stretch to portray Berkshire shareholders, at the meeting, as the visitors, patrons, and, yes, lovers of the curation, as well as the guides, docents and tutors for newcomers and recurring visitors alike.
Steve Jordon is a reporter for the Omaha-World Herald. He’s been covering the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting for over a decade. He’s also a contributor to The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting and joins Steve as part of the 5-part insider series of Buffet and Berkshire.
Jordon draws parallels between the humble Buffett and the quaint town of Omaha. He explains what it’s like there when the meeting isn’t going on and providing helpful tips into what to expect when it is.
Listen to the interview here and read the show notes: