(Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway succession story updated for Buffett purchase of liquor distributor, Berkshire holding Iron Mountain's weak quarter)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Amid the never-ending talk about Warren Buffett'ssuccession plans for Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B) is the obvious -- and obviously morbid -- question of whether investors should hold onto Berkshire Hathaway shares once Buffett is no longer running the famed investment company. Berkshire Hathaway announced on Monday night that it had hired Todd Combs, a hedge fund manager from Castle Point Capital Management, to run a significant portion of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio. Combs' appointment came as a surprise, though succession planning at Berkshire Hathaway has been a topic that has nagged Buffett for years. During the summer, chatter spiked in the press that Buffett would be hiring Chinese hedge fund manager Li Lu, who had helped turned Berkshire Hathaway on to Chinese car and battery maker BYD, of which Buffett now owns 10%. Buffett right hand man Charlie Munger told the Wall Street Journal during the summer that Li was likely to be one of the top Berkshire investment officials. "In my mind, it's a foregone conclusion," Mr. Munger had said. Buffett himself had told the WSJ that his plan was to hire a number of managers to run various stakes within the Berkshire Hathaway investment portfolio. "I like the idea of bringing on other investment managers while I'm still here," Buffett said at the time of the Li Lu chatter. Li Lu, though, recently was quoted as saying he has no plans to leave his hedge fund. Berkshire Hathaway said it had hired the CEO of Castle Point after a three-year search to "handle a significant portion of Berkshire's investment portfolio."
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