FRI, OCT 20, 2023
Tough times for insurers prompt GEICO to cut 6% of workforce
Todd Combs, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary GEICO, (and one of Berkshire two investment managers), has told employees the insurer is "reducing our workforce by roughly 2,000 associates, or 6% of our total workforce."
In an internal letter sent Thursday morning that was provided to me by a company spokesman, Combs said the reductions will "allow us to become more dynamic, agile, and streamline our processes while still serving customers."
He cited a "very difficult period across the industry" with high inflation, longer repair times due to shortages of parts and labor, and rising medical costs all making claims more expensive.
According to the Insurance Journal, several other insurers, including American Family Insurance and Farmers Insurance have already made similar moves.
People pose with GEICO's 'gecko' during Berkshire's annual meeting in Omaha, May 5, 2023. REUTERS/Rachel Mummey
Combs also said the company will be requiring workers to spend more time in the office, with full implementation of the new policy by the beginning of the next year.
It appears GEICO won't be mandating a full return. The letter says, "Managers will soon be sharing employees' required number of in-office days."
In addition, Combs admits GEICO's management needs to do a better job of explaining the "why behind the decisions we are making," calling better employee communications a "priority for our leaders."
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
Buffett’s favorite quote on the dangers of gambling on stocks (2021)
Warren Buffett cites a quote from economist John Maynard Keynes as he talks about how many newcomers are treating the stock market as a casino. Charlie Munger complains it’s shameful that some professionals are taking advantage of what he calls “the suckers.”
BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Oct. 20, 2023
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded stocks in the U.S., Japan, and Hong Kong, by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of June 30, 2023 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on August 14, 2023, except for:
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
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