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经济学人 | 巴菲特,是时候“让位”了! 巴菲特

背景介绍:

全球最富有的人之一,被称为“股神”的沃伦·巴菲特,终于给出了“接班人”的姓名,他就是伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司现任副董事长格雷格·阿贝尔。5月3日,在接受记者采访时,91岁的巴菲特承认:“董事们一致同意,如果我卸任,将由伯克希尔非保险业务的副董事长格雷格·阿贝尔接任首席执行官一职。

Warren Buffett should step aside for his chosen successor

沃伦·巴菲特应该让位给他所选定的接班人了

Berkshire Hathaway needs a leader who will take a fresh look at performance and governance

伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司需要一位对业绩和管理模式有全新认识的领导者

At 90, Warren Buffett continues to lead Berkshire Hathaway, wearing the three hats of chief executive, chairman and chief investment officer. For years, the question of whom the feted investor would anoint as his successor to run the giant conglomerate has been the subject of boardroom gossip.

90岁高龄的沃伦·巴菲特仍然执掌着伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司,他身兼首席执行官、董事长和首席投资官三职。多年来,董事会里私下议论最多的话题就是这位备受赞誉的投资者将会指定谁来接替他执掌这家庞大的企业集团。

The world now knows the answer, though only because of a slip of the tongue by Mr Buffett’s 97-year-old right-hand man, Charlie Munger, at the annual shareholders’ meeting on May 1st. That forced Mr Buffett to confirm that his heir apparent as chief executive is Greg Abel, 58, a trusted lieutenant who runs Berkshire’s non-insurance businesses.

现在,全世界都知道了答案,尽管只是因为巴菲特97岁的搭档查理·芒格在5月1日的年度股东大会上说漏了嘴。这使巴菲特不得不承认,首席执行官的接班人选就是深受其信赖的副手格雷格·阿贝尔, 他目前掌管着伯克希尔的非保险业务。

接班人计划以这种戏剧化的方式公之于众是符合这家公司的发展模式的。市值6450亿美元的伯克希尔是一家规模庞大的上市公司,该公司有着一大批忠实的散户投资者。不过,伯克希尔的公司结构和运营方式与上世纪60年代巴菲特接手时没什么差别。

He has never hidden his reluctance to retire. He once joked that he’ll step downfive years after he dies. However, Berkshire needs to make changes if it is to keep up with the times—and that includes having a new person at the top.

巴菲特从不掩饰自己不愿退休的态度。他曾开玩笑地说自己会在死后5年卸任。然而,如果伯克希尔想要跟上时代的步伐,就必须做出改变,其中包括公司最高负责人的接替。

That is not to denigrate Mr Buffett or his achievements. In his 56 years in charge, Berkshire’s total returns have been double those of the S&P 500 index. He can claim to be the greatest value-investor who ever lived. He has instilled an admirable trust-based culture at Berkshire. The dozens of fawning books he has inspired constitute their own genre of business publishing.

这并非在贬低巴菲特或他所取得的成就。在他执掌伯克希尔的56年里,公司的总回报率是标准普尔500指数的两倍。可以说他是有史以来最伟大的价值投资者。他为伯克希尔公司注入了一种令人钦佩的以信任为基础的文化。数十本赞扬巴菲特的书已在商业出版界自成一派。

However, cracks have started to appear. One is Berkshire’s financial performance, which has been mediocre over the past decade. Mr Buffett has made some costly mistakes, such as bad bets on airlines and Kraft Heinz, a consumer-goods giant.

然而,问题也在显现。其一是伯克希尔的财务业绩在过去10年一直表现平平。巴菲特犯下了一些代价高昂的错误,比如对几家航空公司和消费品巨头卡夫亨氏的错误押注。

他承认在对一些企业的收购中出价过高,其中包括一家最终冲销110亿美元的大型金属零件制造商。如果不是因为持有的苹果公司股份价值高涨,伯克希尔的盈利会显得更低。

Suspicion is growing that Mr Buffett has lost his magic touch in allocating capital, perhaps because, like other star fund managers, he is too big to outperform the market by much.

人们越来越怀疑,巴菲特已经失去了他在资本配置方面的魔力,或许是因为,和其他明星基金经理一样,他的投资规模太大,以至于很难大幅跑赢市场。

Berkshire’s governance needs rethinking, too. For all the autonomy its divisions enjoy, Mr Buffett still has to sign off on the big decisions. He has special shares with greatly enhanced voting power. The board is stacked with Friends of Warren; five of its 14 members are 89 or over.

其二,伯克希尔的的管理模式也需要反思。虽然公司各部门都享有自主权,但重大决策还需要巴菲特拍板。他所持有的特殊股份大大增强了他的投票权。董事会成员都是巴菲特的朋友;14名成员中有5人年过89岁。

Berkshire’s failure to write or disclose its policies on investor priorities such as climate risk and diversity irks some shareholders, including big institutions like BlackRock. When investors called Buffett-style governance “unique” they used to mean it as a compliment. No longer.

伯克希尔未能就气候风险和多元化等投资者关注的议题制定或披露相关政策,这令一些股东感到不满,其中包括贝莱德等大型机构。当投资者们称巴菲特式的公司管理模式“独一无二”时,过去往往是一种赞美,如今已不是。

The biggest question of all is when Mr Buffett should go. He may want to die at his desk, but the longer he stays, the more he risks becoming a liability. He said at this year’s AGM that bad leaders are the biggest risk companies face.

最大的问题是巴菲特应该何时卸任。他或许想坚守至生命的最后一刻,但他坚守地越久,就越有可能成为公司的累赘。他在今年的年度股东大会上表示,糟糕的领导者是企业面临的最大风险。

Good leaders who stay too long are not far behind. Mr Buffett has had a wonderful run. But now that the succession is out in the open, it is time to move aside and let Mr Abel fix what isn’t working.

一个优秀的领导者在任太久对公司没有太多的好处。巴菲特带领公司创下了辉煌成就。但现在接班人既然已经公开,就是时候让位,让阿贝尔来解决问题了。

(红色标注词为重难点词汇)

本文翻译:Vinnie

校核:Vinnie

编辑:Vinnie

小编说

巴菲特因多年的投资业绩,被评为“股神”,从实战情况来看,他也担得起“股神”称号。2020年,一封据称是巴菲特写下的“退休亲笔信”,在中国社交网络平台上传播,但其后被证实,并非是其本人所写。如今,多年的谜题终于有了答案,接班人正是其得力副手格雷格·阿贝尔。不过,虽然阿贝尔被确定为接班人,但巴菲特暂时不会卸任。

重难点词汇:

anoint [əˈnɔɪnt] vt. 给…涂油;指定

step down 辞职;下台

denigrate [ˈdenɪɡreɪt] vt. 诋毁;玷污

mediocre [ˌmiːdiˈoʊkər] adj. 普通的;平凡的;中等的

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