Buffett, world's 3rd-richest person, gets pay rise

Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:46pm EST
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett was awarded total compensation of about $519,490 in 2009 to run Berkshire Hathaway Inc, a 6 percent increase mainly reflecting the higher cost of keeping the world's third-richest person safe.

According to Berkshire's proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Buffett's salary was $100,000, as it has been for more than a quarter century.

Buffett also received $75,000 in fees for serving as a director of Washington Post Co, a large Berkshire investment.

Compensation also included $344,490 of personal and home security services, up 9 percent from $315,709 a year earlier.

In September 2007, a man carrying a fake gun and wearing dark camouflage paint on his face tried to break into Buffett's ungated home in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffett was home at the time. A security guard at the property disarmed the man.

Among Berkshire's top executives, Chief Financial Officer Marc Hamburg remained the best paid in 2009. His compensation rose 11 percent to $874,750, almost all of which was salary.

Berkshire employs roughly 257,000 people, but only 21 at its Omaha headquarters. It is possible that senior employees at some of Berkshire's roughly 80 operating businesses may be paid more, but their compensation is not disclosed in the proxy.

Profit at Berkshire rose 61 percent last year to $8.06 billion, largely from paper gains on derivative contracts. Buffett also announced a $26.5 billion takeover of railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.   Continued...

<p>Billionaire investor Warren Buffett laughs as he appears with Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates for a town hall style meeting with business students broadcast by financial television network CNBC at Columbia University in New York in this November 12, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>