This year’s donation marked the midpoint for the legendary investor, who in 2006 pledged to donate all of his Berkshire stock through annual donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation. At the time, Buffett owned 474,998 Berkshire “A” shares. Today, he said he owns 238,624 shares, worth around $ 100 billion.
“Today is a big milestone for me,” Buffett said in a statement Wednesday. “In 2006, I made a commitment to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares – over 99% of my net worth – to philanthropy. With the current distribution of $ 4.1 billion, I’m halfway there. “
The Oracle of Omaha has also announced his resignation as a trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as the prominent foundation faces tumultuous times with the divorce of its two founders.
“For years, I was a trustee – an inactive trustee – of a single beneficiary of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from this position, just as I have done on every board of the company. other than Berkshire, ”said Buffett. “The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% aligned with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way necessary to achieve those goals. “
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced their divorce in May. The couple and Buffett were the creators of the Giving Pledge, a program that requires participants to donate more than half of their wealth.
Buffett said his 16 annual contributions to the five foundations over the years amounted to $ 41 billion at the time of disbursement. Buffett is Berkshire’s largest shareholder, owning around 39% of Class A shares, according to FactSet.
Berkshire “A” shares rebounded more than 20% to an all-time high in 2021 as many of the conglomerate’s activities recovered better than expected from the pandemic.
” I’m optimistic. While naysayers abound – as they have throughout my life – America’s best days are certainly ahead, ”said Buffett. “Philanthropy will continue to combine human talent with financial resources. The same will be true for business and government. Each force has its particular strengths and weaknesses. Combined, they will make the world a better place – a much better place – for future generations. “
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