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Tracy Britt Cool


petey2720
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Thanks, a good profile on her.

 

 

 

 

 

additionally, from Harvard .

 

Tracy Britt

 

Tracy Britt may be on the fast track to Wall Street, but her roots are firmly planted in Manhattan—Kansas—where she grew up on Britt’s Garden Acres, her family’s farm. She has since held internships at Bank of America, at Lehman Brothers, and also at 85 Broads—and served as president of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business (HUWIB). But it is her modest background, she says, that formed the high-achiever she is today.

 

“Every minute that I had to work on the farm, I hated it,” she says, recalling days when her friends were hanging out and she was stuck on the phone negotiating with fruit and vegetable distributors. “I thought this was an environment I never wanted to be in again. But it actually shaped my dedication, my work ethic, and the way I follow through on the commitments I have made.” She also credits this early exposure to the real world of commerce—she helped manage the wholesale and retail-sales ends of the business—with her success at Harvard itself, because she arrived in Cambridge without the rigorous academic training most undergraduates acquire in high school.

 

Britt joined HUWIB and its fundraising committee as a freshman, but continued to work at the farm during the summers until, as a rising junior, she opted to intern at 85 Broads in New York City. There a young woman from the hedge-fund industry took Britt under her wing. “She provided me with the guidance necessary to navigate the industry, as well as the insight and confidence to be successful in finance,” says Britt. “In an industry dominated by males, it is hard to break in if you don’t know somebody or aren’t the type of person to get out there and push in.”

 

Aware that many women in finance lacked the mentoring she had enjoyed, Britt and fellow HUWIB member Teresa Hsiao ’07 founded Smart Woman Securities during the fall of their senior year. The goal of SWS, which has 60 members, is twofold: the fall is spent in weekly seminars on investing strategies, which also involve dividing group members into teams to research companies and choose the likeliest options; in the spring, members test their predictions by investing money from a privately donated fund. “Women are coming into more influence [in the financial arena] than they have had historically, and SWS provides them with education in college that allows them to grow and succeed in the future,” Britt explains. She and Hsiao plan to open SWS chapters on other campuses by 2009 and would like to see it grow into a national organization.

 

Meanwhile, as president of HUWIB in 2006, Britt oversaw mentoring programs, professional panels, educational trips, and conferences for 400 members. And as cochair of the Women’s Leadership Project (a weeklong conference for high-schoolers), she shared some of her goals, experiences, and determination with an even younger group of women.

 

In the fall, Britt will attend Harvard Business School, where she plans to maintain her Midwestern sensibility. “Growing up in Kansas is very different from growing up in Boston and the Northeast,” she says. “Many people come here knowing they’ve wanted to go to Harvard since they were eight years old. Looking back, I realize how lucky and fortunate I am to be here.”

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I wonder if she has an ax to grind with regards to opportunities for women.

Smart Women Securities refuses to give access to young men. I dont know why she was not comfortable discussing securities with both sexes and wanted to exclude one sex from attending.

 

Come on now pretty much every other avenue is available to men, and many more around the world probably lock out women.

Buffett also does a talk with women only each year. Is he too uncomfortable....

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It is called "Smart Woman Securities". Are you implying that there should be no women specific groups related to things that also interest men ? I work in Computer Science and there is a group "Women in Computer Science" which is also women specific. This is nothing unusual. It also makes sense if the percentage of women in a job is much smaller than 50% even though the job can be done well by either sex. I am pretty sure that the percentage of women in "important" finance related jobs is much smaller than 50%.

 

https://www.stanford.edu/group/wics/cgi-bin/wordpress/

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Come on now pretty much every other avenue is available to men, and many more around the world probably lock out women.

Buffett also does a talk with women only each year. Is he too uncomfortable....

 

Every other investment society and career in the industry is available to women too in the USA. I find it strange that she devoted herself to two societies that lock out men.

If Buffett came to my university to speak I would be quite frustrated to find out that only women were allowed.

 

Yep, its a tough life Ian.  Too bad you cant try being a woman for awhile and see what its like from the other side.  I can guarantee you would immediately find yourself frustrated by things that you dont even notice right now.  Being born male, and especially a white male in North America, confers immediate advantages on us.  Why do you think Ms. Britt has had to be so ruthless?  I bet people are taking her seriously now, after she has cleaned house a couple of times. 

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The things that caught my eye in the article were her listening skills and farm work ethic. Personally I have seen those take folks very far in their careers.

 

I've long thought about BRK owning ever more operating businesses and what would happen when they go off the rails. It appears that Cool runs interface between Omaha and the small non-in-a-platform-businesses, those that didn't get tucked in by the likes of MidAmerican, Home Services, Lubrizol, BNI, Marmon etc. Remember that Sokol played this role at Netjets when they went off the rails. As a shareholder, I'd like to see a lot more of the tuck-in's than independent business acquisitions in the future. Tuck-in's have the distinct advantages of fitting well within the circle of competence of operating presidents. Relatively safer capital pathway for BRK's Billions and more importantly keeps Omaha unencumbered. I'd also love to see a unique Berkshire Operating System (kinda like the Toyota Production System) evolve while preserving the independence of the operating units. After all, when BRK doubles in market cap, the operating businesses would match the size of a GE.  Hopefully that's the kind of talk Cool is engineering between the operating businesses at the AGM. WEB's successor will be running a very different BRK.

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Could she be the next CEO of berkshire ?

 

Maybe at some point. 

 

But in the next 5 years, absolutely not.  She has very little experience and is just getting her feet wet.  Maybe I am reading too much into things, but in one article they stated she likes to listen and ask questions rather than be a focal point during meetings.  IMO, I interpret this as she does not have the experience or knowledge yet to be the leader.  I can't imagine her running a meeting with Rose, Ajit, Tedd and Todd, etc.  I'd also like the next CEO to have some history of capital allocation, whether through investments or tuck-ins or insurance or something else.

 

If she keeps excelling and makes the most out of the opportunities she has (which it sounds like she is), I could see it happening in 10 or more years.

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Could she be the next CEO of berkshire ?

 

Maybe at some point. 

 

But in the next 5 years, absolutely not.  She has very little experience and is just getting her feet wet.  Maybe I am reading too much into things, but in one article they stated she likes to listen and ask questions rather than be a focal point during meetings.  IMO, I interpret this as she does not have the experience or knowledge yet to be the leader.  I can't imagine her running a meeting with Rose, Ajit, Tedd and Todd, etc.  I'd also like the next CEO to have some history of capital allocation, whether through investments or tuck-ins or insurance or something else.

 

If she keeps excelling and makes the most out of the opportunities she has (which it sounds like she is), I could see it happening in 10 or more years.

 

I agree with you in general, but specifically, listening and asking questions is a huge component of a CEO's job.  A good one, anyway.  Lots of good leaders lead not by being a focal point or celebrity but by managing the direction of the group in less direct ways.

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Could she be the next CEO of berkshire ?

 

Maybe at some point. 

 

But in the next 5 years, absolutely not.  She has very little experience and is just getting her feet wet.  Maybe I am reading too much into things, but in one article they stated she likes to listen and ask questions rather than be a focal point during meetings.  IMO, I interpret this as she does not have the experience or knowledge yet to be the leader.  I can't imagine her running a meeting with Rose, Ajit, Tedd and Todd, etc.  I'd also like the next CEO to have some history of capital allocation, whether through investments or tuck-ins or insurance or something else.

 

If she keeps excelling and makes the most out of the opportunities she has (which it sounds like she is), I could see it happening in 10 or more years.

 

I agree with you in general, but specifically, listening and asking questions is a huge component of a CEO's job.  A good one, anyway.  Lots of good leaders lead not by being a focal point or celebrity but by managing the direction of the group in less direct ways.

 

Completely agree. Like I said I am probably reading too much into things, but I can't help but think maybe she is asking questions and listening because she cannot contribute in a significant way.  I could be way off, but it's tough to see any 29 y/o being able to significantly contribute to conversations with managers at the top of their fields.

 

I think she will get there and could play a big role eventually.  You would have to try NOT to learn if you are talking to WEB and his managers everyday.

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From the article:

 

The groundwork and relationships that she’s building through her travel and events like those will serve the next Berkshire CEO well, said Buffett, who hasn’t publicly identified his replacement.

 

“Tracy can be of particular value, I think, to my successor,” he said. “She’ll have so much operational familiarity with the really dozens of companies, probably more than anybody else.”

So, not the next CEO. When Buffett's successor retires though, she should be in a great position to get the job.

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Are you implying that there should be no women specific groups related to things that also interest men ?

 

I'm not sure what he's implying but I think the relevant principle is that there should not be educational/professional groups that exclude certain members based upon non-fundamental factors (like your skin color for example). So if a man could get some educational value from attending the SWS seminar/gathering, it's wrong to exclude him because he has skin dangling between his legs. There is no fact of life that says because you're a man your life was easy and full of opportunity. These kinds of groups have no concern with individual circumstances. They imply that all members of the collective known as 'men' must necessarily have an upper hand in life. In fact, when I was in high school there was a girl's only after-school club (something about women in leadership) that would bring in speakers that I was interested in hearing. I wasn't allowed to be a member because in the school's eyes my genitals apparently afforded me the same opportunities automatically.

 

In any event, it's not so much of a knock against Ms. Cool- who should be praised for her tremendous accomplishments. It's just a mistake that is prevalent in our culture because people don't think in principles.

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