Warren Buffett tells the Wall Street Journal that Berkshire Hathaway plans to invest in a new firm to be created by one of the few investment bankers to ever win his respect.
Byron Trott is leaving Goldman Sachs to start his own merchant-banking firm to be called BDT Capital Partners.
Buffett tells the WSJ, "We'll have a modest partnership interest.. We will not be the big dog."
Buffett says people who have worked with Trott in the past will probably invest in his new fund. The Journal says the fund will invest in "family-controlled and entrepreneurial companies" and "could grow to about $2 billion."
Trott's departure won't disrupt Buffett's long-standing relationship with Goldman. Buffett tells the newspaper he's already met the person at Goldman who will "take care of me" after Trott's departure.
Trott worked closely with Buffett on Berkshire's investments last fall in Goldman itself and General Electric. He also played a key role on Berkshire's involvement with last year's $23 billion acquisition of Wrigley by Mars.
And back in his 2003 letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett wrote of Trott: "He understands Berkshire far better than any investment banker with whom we have talked and – it hurts me to say this – earns his fee."