Meet Tracy Britt, Warren Buffett’s 28-Year-Old Assistant
11:45 am, June 13th | by Colette McIntyre
Tracy Britt may just be 28-years-old — a full five decades younger than her boss, Warren Buffet — but she is already the financial assistant at Berkshire Hathaway, the chairman of the board at four Berkshire-owned companies (which rake in a plum total of $4 billion in yearly sales), and, as if that wasn’t enough, she is still rising through the conglomerate’s ranks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Britt is one of the executives being groomed for senior positions by Buffet himself.
So how does someone become one of the most influential women within Berkshire, a company that has three female directors on a thirteen-member board and five female CEOs? Britt first met Buffet after she and some of her Harvard Business School classmates arranged to visit the famed investor with a student group called Smart Women Securities, which she co-founded. Three years later, in 2009, Britt brought her Harvard M.B.A, a glittering resume, and a boatload of ambition to Omaha in order to interview with Buffet. But it may have been Britt’s unconventional gesture that sealed the deal: the Journal reports that during the interview process, Britt, a native Kansan, gave the investor “a gift to highlight their shared Midwestern roots: a bushel of corn and a batch of tomatoes.”
Britt’s office sits right next to Buffet’s at Berkshire headquarters. According to the Journal, her responsibilities include helping with financial research, accompanying Buffet to meetings, and occasionally driving him around town. But it’s not all corn bushels and car rides: after Berkshire and Brazillian investment firm 3G Capital offered to buy H.J. Heinz & Co. in March, Buffet sent Britt to Brazil. As Buffet told college students in Omaha last month, Britt “takes care of all kings of things that come up.”
“She’s got this wealth of information about what’s going on at the Berkshire portfolio companies,” said Sam Taylor, chief executive of the Berkshire-owned online retailer Oriental Trading Co., told the Journal. “She knows exactly what’s going on and where Warren’s head is at.”
So the next time you’re explaining to your mother that you are still young and have plenty of time to make your millions and that she has to stop “harshing your mellow,” consider Tracy Britt and her Scrooge McDuck sums of money. And then immediately sit down because you’ll need to take a minute.