Ajit Jain is a businessman from India, who has earned the respect and high-regards of Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett. He is one of the top choices to be his successor when Buffet steps down as the CEO of the famed financial institution. Jain has an impressive history that is well worth reviewing. He's a very important man in the business world and we wanted to know more about him. We learned some interesting facts about the protege of Mr. Buffet. Here are 20 things that you probably didn't know about Ajit Jain.
1. His Age
Ajit was born in Orissa, India in 1951, which is an area on the coast. This currently makes him 72 years old, and a junior to the 80-year-old Buffett. He lived in his native India until 1978, when he relocated to the United States. He was just 25 years old at the time that he moved to continue his education.
2. He's highly educated
Jain began his education at the prestigious IIT Kharagpur in India. He enrolled in a Mechanical Engineering program and earned his Bachelor's Tech degree, graduating in 1972. After moving to the United States, he enrolled at Harvard University where he graduated with his MBA degree. Harvard is a prestigious business school that is very selective and they only accept a small percentage of applicants for admission to their programs.
3. He started his work career in India but it was short-lived
Right after graduating with his bachelor's degree, Ajit joined the IBM corporation in India. He was a salesman at their data-processing operation. He was recognized for his contributions at the company during his first year with the company and was named "Rookie of the Year. His work ethic has been exemplary from day one.
This is a trait that runs in the family as his cousin Anshu Jain is the former co-CEO of Deutsche Bank. His job only lasted for three years before IBM shut down its India operation. The country of India required all foreign companies to allow Indian ownership, but IBM refused, so they had to leave.
4. He was poached from McKinsey & Company
After Ajit had relocated to America and earned his degree from Harvard, he joined the McKinsey & Col firm. He remained employed with the company until 1986 when he was made an offer to join Warren Buffett at the request of Michael Goldberg, who was his former boss at McKinsey & Co. Goldberg left prior to Jain and joined Berkshire Hathaway, then poached Jain from Mckinsey & Co.
5. He went back to India to marry
When Ajit Jain was ready to settle down, marry and have a family, he moved back to India. This is where he married his wife. It happened during the early 1980s. The couple didn't stay there, however. His wife wanted to come back to the United States to make their life and raise their family.
6. Jain has risen to a predominant position at Berkshire Hathaway
Ajit has always been a hard worker. He's intelligent and highly skilled in business matters and he is committed to going over adn above expectations. When he started at Berkshire Hathaway he didn't know much about insurance but he learned quickly and became a top performer in each position that he has held. He rose to the post of Vice President of Insurance Operations, and he's just one step away from being CEO, however, he hasn't made any overt statements or actions that would indicate that he's inclined to aspire to the job.
7. Warren Buffett sees Jain as family
Buffett is one of the most highly respected and well-known names in the business world. He's the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and at one time, he was considered the richest man in the United States. He has built business empires and given away billions of dollars to places he believed the money would be best used. Buffett is a no-nonsense businessman who holds Ajit in high regard. Buffett has openly stated that his feelings towards Jain are that of a son or a brother. This is a high compliment and it tells us that Jain also has similar values as Buffett when it comes to running the business.
8. Jain is one of Berkshire Hathaway's best assets
Ajit Jain has earned the respect that he is shown. He's a top-notch professional who is known for his expertise in underwriting and knowing just how much insurance is best for his clients. Jain ethical and has a keen sense of how much insurance is overkill and how much is not adequate, a highly valued skill. He's skilled at taking risks that few others have considered insuring, and ending up on the winning side of it. He just seems to have a keen insight that lets him know which risks to take a gamble on. He's one of the best assets at Berkshire Hathaway.
9. He runs a tight ship
One of the things that colleagues appreciate the most about Ajit Jain is that he runs an operation tht is made of the right stuff at Berkshire Hathaway. He's fast, decisive and has a tremendous capacity for the insurance business. Although some would consider him to be a risk-taker, he has yet to expose the company to inappropriate risks that exceed the operational resources.
10. Buffett sees Jain as an "idea factory"
Buffett's description of Jain is "an idea factory that is always looking for more lines of business he can add to his current assortment." That's quite a mouthful and a high compliment coming from the leader of the prestigious firm. Jain has a mind that is always thinking, planning and strategizing. This is what has helped him to expand the business and make it the success that it is today.
11. Jain has made billions for shareholders
Ajit is in good standing with all of the major stakeholders at Berkshire Hathaway. He's gained the trust and respect from everyone from the top down. This goes for the shareholders who have benefited tremendously from his wisdom and strong business sense. It's common knowledge within the company that Jain is responsible for bringing in billions in returns for the shareholders with his long track record of success in the industry.
12. He's now the President of a division of BH but may be in line for more
Ajit Jain was made teh President of the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group. The firm has an estimated value of $530 billion. There is talk within the company that Ajit may be the person chosen to succeed Warren Buffett when he steps down from the position of CEO. It was confirmed that Buffett himself dropped a few hints at the company's Annual General Meeting. There are two men who are considered to be candidates for the job. In addition to Jain, Gregory Abel, who is 20 years Jain's junior was recently named to the board of directors along with Ajit Jain.
13. Jain makes the same salary as Abel
We learned that Ajit Jain and Gregory Abel both made the same amount for 2018 in their service to Berkshire Hathaway. Each man was paid a salary of $16 million and also received a $2 million bonus. The decision on the amount of pay that these employees receive each year is determined by Warren Buffett himself.
14. Buffett's partner Charlie Munger has high praise for Ajit
Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett's partner, and also highly respected in the Insurance business. He has high praise for Jain. Munger gives him the credit for "creating out of nothing" referring to the reinsurance business that has boosted Berkshire Hathaway to unimaginable heights of success.
15. Warren Buffett indicates Ajit is more valuable to BH than he
Buffett wrote a letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. In that letter, he stated that if he, Munger and Jain are all in a boat that is sinking and there is just one that can be saved, the logical choice must be Ajit. Seldom has such high praise been given to a business executive in the insurance industry. Again, Jain is on the receiving end of the highest praise possible from a man who is at the top of the industry.
16. Jain is Buffett's top choice for Q& A
When there is an important business meeting that is being held, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway relies upon Ajit Jain to be around. When it's time for questions and answers, Buffett relies upon Jain's expertise and he wants him around to explain the details to shareholders as well as other stakeholders. Jain stays on top of the most current and trends within BH and he is the best qualified to answer detailed or complicated questions.
17. Ajit Jain's son has a rare medical disorder
Jain has had his share of ups and downs in his personal life. His son suffers from a disorder which is called limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. This is a serious medical condition that is brought about by dysferlin protein deficiency. This is one of the causes that Mr. Jain supports. He established the Jain Foundation in 2005.
This is a non-profit organization that has been established for the purpose of finding a cure for the condition or at least finding a treatment that is effective. This is a very rare disorder that afflicts a small amount of the population, which is one of the reasons that it has not received a lot of attention. He donates to causes that are working on finding a cure. There has been a great deal of progress made towards understanding the structure and the function of the condition through gene sequencing research.
18. Ajit Jain loves work over money
Jain is a hard-working executive at Berkshire Hathaway, and this is one of the things that he has in common with Mr. Warren Buffett. Another is that he isn't concerned with making money. Greed is not one of his downfalls.
He's a very rich man who doesn't need to worry about making more, and this is a part of what makes him such as success at what he does. He doesn't have the distractions that come with greed and the lust for making more. His primary concern is making Berkshire Hathaway successful.
19. He lifted Berkshire Hathaway up and made it successful
We learned that when Ajit Jain first joined the Berkshire Hathaway organization, the business was sagging. It wasn't performing up to its full potential. What is perhaps the most amazing part of his resurrection of the company is that he didn't come to them with any experience in the insurance industry and he quite frankly, didn't know much about it through his own admission. They saw something in Ajit that gave them the confidence to believe that he could learn fast and that he did. He helped to build the company up to the status it currently enjoys today.
20. It's unclear if Jain would accept the CEO position
From everything that we've read about Ajit Jain, it's uncertain if he would take the position of CEO when Warren Buffett officially retires. We're fairly certain that he's one of the top choices for the job, but there are indications that he might not be interested in fully taking the helm. Of course, he hasn't said one way or the other nor has he made a statement of refusal should the offer be made, but there are speculations which go both ways. Only time will tell.
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Written by Allen Lee
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