Warren Buffet’s protégé who got a job at the company after writing him a letter establishes her own firm

Warren Buffett’s protégé, who first got a job at his company after writing him a letter after graduating from college, has created her own private equity firm.

Tracy Britt Cool, 37, founded Kanbrick, a mix of Kansas and Brick, with Brian Humphrey in 2020 after spending 11 years working for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The co-founders named the company after their home state and their belief that good businesses are built brick by brick.

Cool started at Buffett’s conglomerate in 2009, when he was just 24 years old and had just graduated from college. His first position in the company, ‘Financial Assistant to the President’, was held by Buffett himself.

He got the job after writing him a letter asking for a job and unexpectedly received a phone call telling him to stop by his office if he happened to be in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett resides.

‘What do you wear to a meeting with a billionaire?’ Cool recalled thinking at the time of an interview with The New York Times. He would settle for a gift of sweet corn and tomatoes, a nod to his upbringing on a farm and their shared Midwestern roots.

Cool and Buffett weren’t complete strangers when she walked into his office in 2009; she’d met him three times as a student, including at Smart Woman Securities, a women’s investment group he founded at Harvard.

Cool would rise to prominence in the company and become one of the few female executives at Berkshire Hathaway.

Tracy Britt Cool, 37, started working at Berkshire Hathaway in 2009 right out of college after writing a letter to owner Warren Buffett. He called her and told her to stop by the office if she was ever in Omaha. She then invented a position for him: financial assistant to the president.

Buffett (pictured at the billionaires' summer camp in Sun Valley) has since given his blessing to his new breakthrough, Kanbrick, who has values ​​similar to those of his own company.

Buffett (pictured at the billionaires’ summer camp in Sun Valley) has since given his blessing to his new breakthrough, Kanbrick, who has values ​​similar to those of his own company.

Tracy Britt Cool, 37, founded Kanbrick, a mix of Kansas and Brick, with Brian Humphrey (pictured) in 2020 after spending 11 years working for Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

Tracy Britt Cool, 37, founded Kanbrick, a mix of Kansas and Brick, with Brian Humphrey (pictured) in 2020 after spending 11 years working for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

As a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young woman who began her career in a “very difficult” corporate culture, Cool said she put her head down and got the job done.

“It’s not a pampering or coaching culture,” Robert Miles, who has written several books about Berkshire, told the NYT. “But she saw firsthand what Berkshire does.”

Cool’s business acumen developed as a result of Berkshire’s growing portfolio. The company, which began by acquiring businesses like Dairy Queen and Benjamin Moore, eventually grew into the $600 billion conglomerate it is today, leaving little time for Buffett to focus on smaller acquisitions.

Buffett relied on Cool to travel and meet with his CEOs. In doing so, she began to build other connections, eventually leading to her becoming CEO of Pampered Chef in 2014 when she was pregnant with her first child.

Cool spent 11 years at Berkshire before breaking out on his own in 2020

Cool spent 11 years at Berkshire before breaking out on his own in 2020

Berkshire had bought the company in 2002, but the profit margin was shrinking as customers moved to digital sales. Within five years of taking over as CEO and placing her would-be co-founder in the role of CFO, the company would move more than 50 percent of its party sales online.

Company founder Doris Christopher told the NYT that Cool was a “thoughtful and decisive leader.”

She would go on to help other companies like NetJets, leading Buffett to call her a ‘firefighter’ in a Wall Street Journal interview in 2020.

“Anything I’ve assigned her, she’s done a first-class job,” he said at the time.

Buffett and Cool were close and dined weekly at Piccolo Pete, one of the Omaha restaurants he frequented.

He even walked her down the aisle in 2013 when she married her husband, attorney Scott Cool, since her father had passed away.

Now, with the blessing of Buffett, who said his new company reminded him of himself when he started his own company, she is taking all the knowledge she gained at Berkshire to pave her own path.

The front of the house where Buffett started his Berkshire Hathaway business

The front of the house where Buffett started his Berkshire Hathaway business

The solarium door features Buffett's signature and the words:

The sunroom door features Buffett’s signature and the words: “The Birthplace of Buffett Associates, May 1956.”

Although she insisted to the NYT that her business and Humphrey’s were not a copy of Buffett’s, she has similar values, like keeping the business going for the long term, unlike other private equity firms that typically let them go after a few years. years. .

However, she plans to be much more involved in the companies she acquires, unlike Buffett.

Kanbrick will also host programs to help CEOs learn how to grow their businesses.

Her family has since moved to Tennessee and her husband, whom she met in an elevator, does most of the parenting so she has the “flexibility” to work, she told the Times.

“He spends a lot of time with our kids,” he told the outlet.

Now she is ready to continue growing her business, telling the Times: ‘I try to stay humble, to learn and grow. If I do those things, there will be no failure.’

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett travels to the Sun Valley 'Camp for Billionaires' conference in a red jacket and light khakis on July 6, 2022

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett travels to the Sun Valley ‘Camp for Billionaires’ conference in a red jacket and light khakis on July 6, 2022

Buffett, the fifth-richest man on the planet, slammed Wall Street at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in April, telling investors the market encourages risky behavior in the stock market that makes it a “gambling hall.” “.

Buffett criticized investment banks and brokerage houses before a crowd of tens of thousands of investors at his annual shareholders’ meeting at the Omaha Arena, saying Wall Street makes “a lot more money when people gamble than when they invest.”

“Wall Street makes money, one way or another, picking up the crumbs that fall from the table of capitalism,” he said. ‘They don’t make money unless people do things, and they get a piece of it.’

Big US companies have become “poker chips” for market speculation, he said, citing an increase in call options and said brokers make more money from gambling than from simple investments.

But amid that environment, he said, his company Berkshire Hathaway seized an opportunity and spent more than $50 billion on stock in the first quarter of 2022.

Who is Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffett is worth an estimated $88 billion

Warren Buffett is worth an estimated $88 billion

The American business investor, who was born in Nebraska in August 1930, is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which wholly owns companies like Geico and Dairy Queen and parts of Cocoa Cola, Kraft Heinz and Apple.

Buffett began buying shares in Berkshire Hathaway, which began as a textile manufacturing company, in the 1960s.

He assumed control of the company in 1965 and phased out its manufacturing holdings before buying stakes in the Washington Post, the insurance firm Geico, and the Exxon oil company.

The firm has become one of the largest investment companies in the world, with assets of more than $700 billion.

Buffett bought his first stock, in an Oklahoma oil company, at the age of 11.

In 1952, he married his first wife, Susan Thompson, and the couple had three children, Susan, Howard, and Peter, before 1960.

Susan Buffett died in 2004 of a brain hemorrhage after suffering from cancer, and Buffett married his second wife, Astrid, in 2006.

In 2006, Buffett announced plans to donate more than 80 percent of his wealth to charity.

Buffett’s Key Moments

  • August 30, 1930 – Buffett is born in Omaha, Nebraska to Leila and Howard Buffett
  • 1942 – Buffett buys his first share, at age 11
  • 1952 -Married Susan Thompson
  • 1957 – Bought a house in Omaha for just over $30,000 and still lives there
  • 1965 – Take control of Berkshire Hathaway, which at the time is a struggling textile business.
  • 1991 – Becomes chairman of investment bank Solomon Brothers to try to save the struggling company from being consumed by the crisis.
  • nineteen ninety six – Purchase the Geico insurer
  • 2004 – his first wife Susan dies
  • 2006 – He agrees to give away 85 percent of his wealth.

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