A Warren Buffett protege is leaving to start her own Berkshire

Investing

Lacy O’Toole | CNBC

Berkshire Hathaway‘s executive Tracy Britt Cool is leaving the firm after a decade to start a company that replicates Warren Buffett’s business model.

Cool, who joined Berkshire in 2009 as Buffett’s financial assistant, said she’s building an investment vehicle that acquires companies “too small for Berkshire,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

CNBC confirmed Cool’s move.

“I want to build a long-term platform and a long-term vehicle to acquire and build businesses,” Cool said in an interview with the WSJ. “There are companies that I think there’s a lot of value in helping them get to the next level, but they’re too small for Berkshire.”

Cool scored a job at Berkshire after graduating Harvard Business School by asking Buffett to work for him for “a day, a week, a month” and “do anything.” She became Buffett’s right-hand woman at the age of 25, performing financial research, accompanying the CEO to meetings and sometimes driving him around town. Five years later, Cool was named CEO of premiere kitchen tools line Pampered Chef, a Berkshire subsidiary.

“She was the fireman,” Buffett told the WSJ. “Anything I’ve assigned her she’s done a first-class job on.”

“The toughest part is finding things to buy,” Buffett said. “she’s got an easier job than I’ve got,” he added, given Cool will be targeting smaller companies.

Cool will also resign from the board of Kraft Heinz in the first quarter of next year, while remaining on Blue Apron‘s board, the WSJ reported.

Speaking to CNBC in 2014, Cool said technology was going to become a “critical component of business.”

“Not just traditional IT and fulfillment centers, but it’s the whole customer experience and personalization and tools that companies can offer to help improve the customer experience,” Cool said. 

— Click here to read the original Wall Street Journal story.

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