Secret’s out: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns part of Chubb

Confidential stock revealed after three quarters

Secret’s out: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns part of Chubb

Mergers & Acquisitions

By Terry Gangcuangco

Image credit: USA International Trade Administration, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Warren Buffett’s (pictured) Berkshire Hathaway, the name behind GEICO and Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, turns out to be a part-owner of global insurer Chubb.

In a new regulatory disclosure, the conglomerate revealed a $6.7 billion investment in Chubb, signifying what the Financial Times called a “large minority stake” in the company led by chair and chief executive Evan Greenberg.

Berkshire Hathaway – the businesses of which span various sectors such as insurance, railroads, and energy – has been acquiring Chubb shares since 2023. Originally, the stake was kept under wraps with the approval of regulators, allowing Berkshire Hathaway to withhold the information for three consecutive quarters.

As reported by CNBC, Chubb became Berkshire Hathaway’s ninth biggest holding at the end of Q1. It was noted that, as of March 31, the Omaha-headquartered group had already snapped up nearly 26 million Chubb shares.

Earlier this month, Berkshire Hathaway reported Q1 operating earnings of $11.2 billion, earnings attributable to shareholders of $12.7 billion, and a record-breaking cash pile worth $189 billion.

Buffett, referring to the cash pile, said at the time: “We’d love to spend it, but we won’t spend it unless we think we’re doing something that has very little risk and can make us a lot of money.”

Chubb, meanwhile, posted increases in net income and core operating income to $2.14 billion and $2.22 billion, respectively, in the first quarter.

“We began the year with a simply excellent quarter,” Greenberg noted in April. “Core operating income was up double-digit, driven by P&C (property and casualty) underwriting income up over 15% with a published combined ratio of 86%, investment income up more than 23%, and life insurance income up almost 10%.”

Manned by around 40,000 people across 54 countries and territories, Chubb has more than $225 billion in assets. In 2023, it reported $57.5 billion in gross written premium.    

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