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Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s partner and number two at Berkshire Hathaway, dies aged 99

“It will leave a big void for investors,” said one longtime Berkshire shareholder as the sad news came through.

Update:
Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation Charlie Munger speaks to Reuters during an interview in Omaha, Nebraska May 3, 2013.
Lane HickenbottomREUTERS

Charlie Munger, the close associate and confidant of Warren Buffett, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 99. His death has created a significant void at Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), and investors believe that despite the conglomerate’s robust succession plan, replacing Munger will be an impossible task. Berkshire announced that Munger passed away peacefully at a California hospital, where he resided. The cause of his death was not disclosed. Munger was on the verge of turning 100 on January 1.

Charlie Munger leaves us at 99

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett, Berkshire’s 93-year-old chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. The death of Munger, a Berkshire vice chairman since 1978, marks an end of an era in corporate America and investing.

Alongside Buffett, Munger was respected and adored by investors around the world, many of whom flocked to Berkshire’s annual shareholder weekends in Omaha, Nebraska, to hear the duo’s folksy wisdom on investing and life.

Though Munger was not involved in Berkshire’s day-to-day operations, his death leaves Buffett without his longtime sounding board.

Investors also said that while Berkshire has installed managers it could trust to keep the company going, Munger’s loss would be deeply felt, and it prompted an outpouring of sorrow.

“It’s a shock,” said Thomas Russo, a partner at Gardner Russo & Quinn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and longtime Berkshire shareholder. “It will leave a big void for investors who have modeled their thoughts, words and activities around Munger and his insights.”

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