Warren Buffett chose a successor to his conglomerate after years of speculation.

source: reuters.com

Berkshire Hathaway appointed Greg Abel, 59, as responsible for all operations not related to the insurance business, and Ajit Jain, 69, like his counterpart in charge of the insurance business.

US mogul Warren Buffett announced Monday that Greg Abel would succeed him at the helm of powerful investment group Berkshire Hathaway, ending months of speculation.

"Executives agree that if anything happened to me tonight, Greg would take over tomorrow morning, " he told CNBC Buffett, whose fortune of 103,700 million dollars is the sixth-largest in the world, according to the magazine Forbes.

Buffet also reported that Ajit Jain, manager of the group's Insurance division, will be Abel's substitute in case of disability.

" They are two formidable people," said Buffet, 90, who ended the suspense about his possible replacement at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company with interests in about 60 companies ranging from insurer Geico to battery maker Duracell.

Canadian Abel, 59, entered the group's energy area in 1992 and then oversaw all of its other relevant areas, except insurance.

An Indian-American, Jain, 69, joined Berkshire's insurance division in 1986, which he currently runs.

Born on August 30, 1930, the billionaire Buffet in Omaha, Nebraska, earned the nickname "Oracle of Omaha" for his business acumen.

Born into a middle-class family, he is a highly respected executive with a very approachable personality.

His frugal lifestyle made him a very popular figure in the United States. For decades he ran his business alongside his partner and vice president of the board, Charlie Munger, who is now 97 years old.

In fifty years, Buffet, who has three children, transformed Berkshire Hathaway into a conglomerate of more than 640,000 million dollars, famous for its placements in safe securities.

Buffett pledged to donate most of his fortune to charity, primarily to the foundation of his friend Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda. Other American millionaires followed that promise.

Greg Abel and Ajit Jain were regularly cited as potential successors at the helm of the conglomerate.

Shares in the firm, which had its shareholders meeting over the weekend, were up about 2% on Wall Street at 5:30 p.m. GMT.