Buffett Will Be Less Visible at Shareholder Festivities

Warren Buffett is going to be less visible during the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder weekend, which is continuing on with the trend that he and Charlie Munger, his longtime partner, have followed for a large number of years.

Regardless, said one of the officers at Berkshire Hathaway, “He’s booked solid from Thursday to Sunday afternoon” and will attend private events when he is not in the public. Charlie Munger is 91 years old and Warren Buffett is 84.

Munger and Buffett used to even host a Sunday afternoon press conference, but in 2012 they permanently canceled the event citing “time constraints.”

Over the last four years, Buffett personally went to the Borsheims’ store in the Regency shopping center to sell jewelry, offering “Crazy Warren” prices to customers that the regular sales staff lined up. But this year’s event will have to go without Crazy Warren.

“We thought that last year was the pinnacle” and it cannot be topped, said Adrienne Fay, a Borsheims spokeswoman. During the event last year Warren Buffett helped a customer surprise his girlfriend with a proposal and an engagement ring. Regardless, Fay said, “We hope he’ll stop by.”

In 2013, when Berkshire Hathaway began its footrace on Sunday morning called “Invest in Yourself”, Warren Buffett would greet the runners at the starting line in a jogging suit, but he was not a runner. He skipped this event last year, and he told shareholders this year that he and Munger would “sleep in.”

The only public appearance by Charlie Munger this year will be onstage on Saturday at the shareholders meeting. He also attends some of the private events with Warren Buffett, including sessions with 10 of the other members of the Board of Directors of Berkshire Hathaway.

Typically, on Friday evenings during the event, Buffett will not attend the shareholders cocktail party at Borsheims. The meeting on Saturday itself will last for seven hours, with a one hour break for lunch. Although both of the partners will be seated, they certainly exercise their mental capacity and answer questions for journalists, financial analysts and shareholders.

For roughly an hour prior to the meeting, Buffett will take a walk among the company displays available in the Centurylink Center at the convention hall, and he will kick off a “newspaper toss” contest and make many other stops as well. He has even said that he could possibly visit the displays on Friday afternoon, as well, since this is the first time shopping is going to be available one day early.

Events that are scheduled for Sunday include bridge playing with experts and Buffett’s continued efforts to defeat Ariel Hsing, the table tennis star, at the Regency Court shopping center. On Sunday he will also dine at Piccolo’s and Gorat’s, two restaurants in Omaha that are only open for shareholders that evening.

Munger, back in 2011, held his final Q&A shareholders meeting of Wesco Financial. Berkshire owned the majority of the company, but that same year they also purchased the rest of it, which eliminated the need for a shareholder meeting. Munger will still answer questions for another California company at an annual shareholder meeting.

In 2011, in regards to the Wesco meeting, Munger said, “This is likely to be the swan song. I’m 87 years old, and there comes a time.” But he did promise to continue going to the Berkshire Hathaway meetings in Omaha.

The Berkshire Hathaway offices, upon being questioned, did not provide any reason for the latest changes.

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