Investment manager Ted Weschler joined Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway almost four years ago now, but he began his career working at W.R. Grace in the 1980s, including as an assistant to the firm’s namesake leader J. Peter Grace.
Weschler ended up founding a hedge fund, and one of his most successful investments was in his former firm as it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001 to deal with asbestos-related claims. In fact, he liked the investment in Grace so much when he wound down the hedge fund partnership before joining Berkshire in 2011, Weschler decided to hold on to a stake of 3.74 million shares for himself.
Wechsler’s W.R. Grace stake worth more than $380 million now
W. R. Grace made a surprise announcement on Thursday that it was planning to separate into two businesses in a tax-free spinoff deal. The news sent Grace shares soaring up as much as 15%, before closing just over 12% higher at $102.32 in trading on the NYSE. That puts a price tiag of more than $380 million on Weschler’s stake, and means he made a cool $40 million in profits today.
When Bloomberg contacted him for this story, Weschler declined to comment.
After the split is finalized, one new business will include Grace’s catalysts-technologies and materials-technologies operations, while the other includes the firm’s various construction-products and packaging units. In its statement on Thursday, the company noted the breakup will create companies with simplified structures that allow management to be more focused on productivity.
Ted Weschler paid $2.6 million for lunch with Buffett twice
As covered previously, Ted Weschler bid $2.6 million in a charity auction for lunch with Warren Buffett in both 2010 and 2011, and at the end of the second luncheon, Buffett asked Weschler if he wanted to come to work for him. Genuinely surprised by Buffett’s offer, he said he needed to think about it. After a few months of thought and some more honest discussion with Buffett, he said he would take the job.