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Berkshire energy unit names CEO to replace potential Buffett successor


By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Berkshire Inc's energy unit on Thursday named as its new to replace Gregory Abel, who was promoted a day earlier to oversee more Berkshire units, and potentially succeed

Fehrman, 57, joined the energy unit, Berkshire Energy Co, in 2006.

He had been of its subsidiary, which provides in four states, and BHE Renewables, which builds wind and solar farms. Adam Wright, 40, a MidAmerican vice president, will become that unit's new

Berkshire on Wednesday added Abel, 55, and Ajit Jain, 66, who oversees its reinsurance operations, to its board of directors, and gave them new oversight over its more than 90 business units.

This confirmed expectations of many investors and analysts that Abel and Jain are the frontrunners to become Berkshire's whenever Buffett, 87, is no longer in charge.

Berkshire Energy is 90 percent-owned by Berkshire, and has in recent quarters generated roughly one-sixth of its Omaha, Nebraska-based parent's operating profit. This included $1.98 billion for the parent in the first nine months of 2017.

The unit serves the central and western United States, Alberta, and Britain, and operates HomeServices of America, the majority owner of Berkshire HomeServices and one of the largest U.S.

Fehrman, through a spokeswoman, had no comment.

Berkshire Energy used to be called MidAmerican Energy but rebranded itself in 2014.

It is one of several Berkshire units to take its parent's name, which is closely associated with Buffett, the world's third-richest person and one of its most admired investors.

Abel has used big acquisitions to help expand Berkshire Energy, but had a setback last year when his $9 billion offer for power transmission company was trumped by a higher bid from San Diego-based .

Berkshire Energy has not disclosed Fehrman's expected compensation. Abel was awarded more than $58 million, mainly in incentive pay and bonuses, in 2015 and 2016.

Buffett typically receives less than $500,000 in annual compensation, including security to keep him safe, to run Berkshire.

(Reporting by Jonathan in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 03:06 IST