Berkshire Hathaway has announced that its chair and CEO, billionaire investor and Giving Pledge co-founder Warren Buffett, has donated shares of the conglomerate valued at approximately $2.9 billion to five foundations.
The fifteenth installment of an annual giving plan initiated by Buffett in 2006 (and increased in 2012) includes gifts of nearly 16 million "B" shares of his Berkshire holdings to the Bill & Melinda Gates, Susan Thompson Buffett, Sherwood, Howard G. Buffett, and NoVo foundations. Buffett has long said he plans to give most of his fortune to philanthropic causes before he dies and to that end annually converts "A" shares of his Berkshire holdings into "B" shares, which are then used to make gifts to the five foundations.
Since 2006, Buffett has donated more than $37 billion to the five foundations. The Omaha-based investor expects to donate all his Berkshire shares to charity through a series of annual gifts that will be completed twelve years after his estate is settled.