Buffett's long-time partner Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, passed away on Tuesday local time at the age of 99.
According to Forbes data, Munger's worth before his death was 2.5 billion US dollars, ranking around 1,200 on the list of the richest. In contrast, Buffett ranked in the top ten with a wealth of 116 billion US dollars.
But if Munger hadn't donated a large amount of Berkshire Hathaway's stock during his lifetime, his current worth would be over $10 billion.
Munger has been the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway since 1978. Regulatory documents show that as of October 5, he held 4,033 Class A shares of the company. Based on Friday's closing price of $522,700, these shares are now worth $2.1 billion. The 99-year-old has other notable assets, including more than $100 million worth of shares in his beloved Costco.
Over the years, Munger has sold or donated more than 75% of his original Berkshire stock holdings. Just over a month before his death, he also donated 77 shares of Berkshire stock to a museum in California. Based on the stock price of 523,500 US dollars per share at the time, the value of this gift was over US$40.3 million.
Munger held 1,8829 Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway in 1996, accounting for 1.6% of the issued shares. This is the earliest year for disclosure. Based on Berkshire's current stock price, the value of these shares is about 10 billion US dollars. When Berkshire's stock price reached an all-time high of over 566,000 US dollars in September last year, the value of these shares was close to 11 billion US dollars.
With a net worth of $10 billion, Munger is in the top 200 on the richest list, ahead of Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, fashion mogul Ralph Lauren, and PayPal and Palantir co-founder Peter Till.
Munger could have been richer because he probably owned more Berkshire stock before 1996. His shares mainly come from Berkshire's acquisition of two partially owned businesses in the late 70s and early 80s of the last century — Blue Chip Stamps (Blue Chip Stamps) and Diversified Retailing (Diversified Retailing).
Chris Bloomstran (Chris Bloomstran), president of Semper Augustus Investments and a long-term shareholder of Berkshire, said, “To be fair, during the peak period when he held Berkshire, the number of shares he held was about five times that of now, with a market value of more than 10 billion US dollars.”
It is worth emphasizing that Munger intended to reduce his shares in Berkshire to fund his charitable donations. In 2013, in an interview, he stated, “I have deliberately reduced my net worth. My idea is, I'm not immortal, and I don't need it anywhere I want to go.”