File - Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett speaks during an interview in Omaha, Neb, May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Warren Buffett is seeking to reassure shareholders about how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will perform in the decades after he steps down or dies, but remains as vague as ever about succession plans.Certainly, Buffett's profitable deal-making has been a boon to Berkshire for decades, and has at times been transformative for the company.In his annual letter to shareholders this weekend, Buffett noted that Berkshire's performance trailed the Standard & Poor's 500 in 2013 – and in fact, even on a five-year basis it lagged that benchmark for the first time under Buffett. Berkshire plans eventually to split Buffett's three roles as CEO, chief investment officer and chairman.In the annual letter, Buffett said Berkshire was thinking a century ahead when the Omaha, Nebraska-based company makes big acquisitions now.Some investors point out that Buffett has shifted Berkshire more toward operating companies that pile up money, adding security for the future.
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