Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B), one of America’s most successful holding companies, has achieved incredible success over the past 49 years, most of which has been attributed to CEO and investment guru, Warren Buffett. Any good leader is only as strong as his or her team, and Buffett is no different. Here’s a look into Berkshire Hathaway’s core management team and how they work together to deliver consistent returns over the long term.

Warren E. Buffett

Often referred to as the "Oracle of Omaha", Buffett started his investment career early in his life. By the end of World War II, he had saved enough money from delivering newspapers to invest in a small business and buy a farm worked by tenant farmers. After graduating from Wharton School of Business and getting a master's degree from Columbia University, the young Buffett had saved more than $90,000 in 2016-adjusted dollars.

He went on to take a job selling investments before meeting with his Columbia professor, Benjamin Graham, who then was on the board of Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). It took some time before the two would go on to work together, but Buffett eventually joined Graham’s partnership in 1954. From there, Buffett continuously improved and learned the ways of analyzing and finding long-term value investments, which led to his eventual control of Berkshire Hathaway, originally a textile manufacturer. Since then, Buffett has gone on to become one of the world’s wealthiest people and a highly regarded sage of investment knowledge.

The Accountants

Whereas Buffett’s life is somewhat more public, details surrounding his employees are less available. This is particularly true of Berkshire Hathaway’s controller and treasurer. Daniel Jaksich has been with Berkshire Hathaway since 1983 and became the company’s controller one year later. Before becoming a key player at Berkshire, Jaksich got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a major in accounting from the University of Nebraska Omaha. After graduating in 1980, he worked at Deloitte while earning his CPA license. At Berkshire Hathaway, he is responsible for managing the consolidated financial reports of all Berkshire subsidiaries and other corporate matters.

Marc Hamburg is another less-public figure who makes the financial conglomerate operate smoothly. Hamburg has served as the vice president of Berkshire Hathaway since 1992 and currently operates in the capacities of CFO and senior vice president. He also serves on the board of several other, smaller companies.

Compared to other current board members at Berkshire Hathaway, Hamburg and Jaksich are among the longest-serving employees and have contributed to the company’s long-term financial success, as well as executing the strategies set out by Buffett. Each of them has contributed to the core value investment thesis that Buffett has followed since studying under Graham at Columbia. The two have worked together to develop financial strategies for Berkshire's subsidiaries, thus ensuring the company's long-term performance.

Charlie T. Munger

Munger served as Chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation, a company 80% owned by Berkshire Hathaway, from 1984 to 2011. It was at this point that he became the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and continued to work closely with Buffett. Over the course of his tenure with Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has been mostly associated with keeping the company's analysts focused on finding and buying good companies with good management. In effect, the second-in-command at Berkshire has reinforced Buffett's traditional investment ideas and practices to ensure the company's strong performance, even during tough years in the financial markets.

Succession at Berkshire

Buffett's 49-year career has been a long one and it’s no secret that the board of directors at Berkshire Hathaway is starting to show its age. Buffett himself is 85 years old in 2016, and Munger is 92. Buffett cannot run Berkshire forever, and the company’s current board members are presumably looking at retirement soon as well. So who is being groomed to take over from the legendary Buffett? This is one area that Berkshire has not spent too much time considering. Plans for succession have come and gone, and as Buffett remains active and healthy, it seems that he will continue to run Berkshire. However, there is discussion that, upon his retirement, several portfolio managers and a CEO might replace Buffett.

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.