On Wednesday, famed investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett said that resigned as a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation trustee. At the same time, the billionaire also announced he will donate $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to five foundations.
Halfway Through His Pledge To Give His Shares Away
Buffett’s $4.1 billion donations for 2021 pushes his total donations to about half his objective. “Today is a milestone for me. In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares, more than 99% of my net worth, to philanthropy.
With today’s $4.1 billion distribution, I’m halfway there,” he said in a statement. Back then, the 90-year old Oracle of Omaha held around 470,000 Berkshire Class A shares. Now, he only owns around 238,624 shares worth $100 billion.
The billionaire philanthropist pledged to give away all his Berkshire Hathaway shares through annual donations to five foundations of his choosing. These are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and NoVo Foundation.
Buffett Resigns As Gates Foundation Trustee
Warren Buffett’s resignation from his position as Gates Foundation trustee comes at a time when Bill and Melinda Gates are facing a rocky divorce. “For years I have been a trustee — an inactive trustee at that — of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” Buffett said.
“The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals,” he added.
Buffett, along with the now-estranged couple founded The Giving Pledge. This is a charitable program that requires participants to give away more than half of their wealth. His 16 annual contributions to the five aforementioned foundations are now worth a total of $41 billion.
As Berkshire’s largest shareholder, he owns about 39% of the Class A shares, according to FactSet. The investment firm’s shares already rebounded more than 20% this year.
In fact, share prices hit a record high in 2021 as many of the conglomerate’s businesses recovered better than expected from the pandemic hit.
“I’m optimistic. Though naysayers abound — as they have throughout my life — America’s best days most certainly lie ahead. Philanthropy will continue to pair human talent with financial resources.
So, too, will business and government. Each force has its particular strengths and weaknesses. Combined, they will make the world a better place — a much better place — for future generations,” Buffett said.
Watch the CNBC news video reporting that Warren Buffett gives away $4.1 billion, resigns as a trustee at Gates Foundation:
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