Buffett seeks businesses with talented, likeable managers already in place. Although he has the ability to change the management at Berkshire's wholly owned subsidiaries, Buffett believes that power is "somewhat illusory" because "management changes, like marital changes, are painful, time-consuming, and chancy." He has written that good managers are unlikely to triumph over a bad business, but given a business with decent economic characteristics--the only type that interests him--good managers make a significant difference. He looks for individuals who are more passionate about their work than their compensation and who exhibit energy, intelligence, and integrity. That last quality is especially important to him. He believes that he has never made a good deal with a bad person.
An Approach to Market Prices >>