Buffett investing deputy Combs joins JPMorgan board

Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:45am EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Todd Combs, one of Warren Buffett's stockpicking deputies at Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote), has joined the board of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote), expanding the conglomerate's already deep ties to the financial services industry.

In a statement on Tuesday, JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, said Combs' appointment took effect on Monday. His committee assignment will be determined later.

Combs, 45, has taken a growing role at Berkshire since joining the Omaha, Nebraska-based company in 2010.

Buffett has credited him with triggering Berkshire's largest acquisition, the $32.1 billion takeover in January of aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp.

"For such a young man, it's a high honor," Andy Kilpatrick, author of "Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett," said about Combs' appointment. "It provides Combs board experience at a financial company and a platform to broaden his growth, which is important because he is a leader at Berkshire."

The appointment gives Berkshire direct ties to the three biggest U.S. banks.

It owns $5 billion of preferred stock in Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote), and has a more than $22 billion, or roughly 10 percent, stake in Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: Quote).

Berkshire also invests in American Express Co (AXP.N: Quote), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) and US Bancorp (USB.N: Quote). It reported no JPMorgan stake as of June 30.   Continued...

The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, in this October 12, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo