Tuesday marked a step up for Ajit Jain in the ongoing guessing game of who will eventually succeed Warren Buffettas Berkshire Hathaway's CEO.
Jain is in charge of Berkshire's profitable reinsurance operations. A Gen Re rep told CNBC that Tad Montross, CEO of the Berkshire insurance subsidiary, will retire by the end of the year.
When he does, the rep says, Montross' successor will report to Jain, a change from the current structure in which Montross reported directly to Buffett.
Jain has long been seen as among the top contenders to take over from Buffett once he's no longer running Berkshire.
Buffett regularly heaps a lot of praise on him, as he did in this year's letter to Berkshire shareholders:
"Ajit insures risks that no one else has the desire or the capital to take on. His operation combines capacity, speed, decisiveness and, most important, brains in a manner unique in the insurance business. Yet he never exposes Berkshire to risks that are inappropriate in relation to our resources."