Friday, July 30, 2010

Li Lu Reported in Line to Succeed Buffett

The usually reclusive Li Lu is suddenly in the news and this time it's the headline-grabbing kind. Wall Street Journal speculated today that, as a hedge fund manager, he is now in line to become a successor to the legendary Warren Buffett.

Mr. Li, 44 years old, has emerged as a leading candidate to run a chunk of Berkshire's $100 billion portfolio, stemming from a close friendship with Charlie Munger, Berkshire's 86-year-old vice chairman. In an interview, Mr. Munger revealed that Mr. Li was likely to become one of the top Berkshire investment officials. "In my mind, it's a foregone conclusion," Mr. Munger said.

The job of filling Mr. Buffett's shoes is among the most high-profile succession stories in modern corporate history. Mr. Buffett, who will turn 80 in a month, says he has no current plans to step down and will likely split his job after he leaves the company into separate CEO and investing functions. Mr. Li's emergence as a contender to oversee Berkshire investments is the first time a name has been identified to fill the investment part of Mr. Buffett's legendary role.

The paper goes on to cite Li Lu's success in introducing BYD, a Chinese battery and auto maker, to Buffett's Berkeshire Hathaway Inc., a story previously highlighted by Fortune. That investment had led to a 10-fold windfall for Li Lu's fund and Berkeshire.

Unlike Buffett himself, Li Lu has focused his investment in Asia and in technologies. Although a fugitive in exile, he is "able to travel to China on a limited basis today" and "hopes to regain full travel privileges soon," according to the Journal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wuer Kaixi To Seek Re-entry to China

Reuters reported today that Wuer Kaixi announced that he will try to re-enter China and is prepared to serve a prison sentence.
"I will keep trying. There will be more actions to come," Wu'er Kaixi, 42, told a news conference in Taipei, without giving specifics. "There will be elevated actions."
Like many Tiananmen student leaders, Wuer Kaixi was never allowed to visit China since his escape in 1989. Unlike other dissidents in exile, however, his parents were never permitted to travel abroad either. So, he hasn't been able to see his family for 21 years.

For the last two years in a row, Wuer Kaixi has made unsuccessful attempts to turn himself in to the Chinese authority on the dates of Tiananmen anniversaries.

He said, "I want to see my parents even if it has to be a prison visit."