Warren Buffett drops out of exclusive $100bn club after $4bn charitable donation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the biggest recipient of the billionaire's annual pledge to give away his fortune

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett has donated $4 billion to five charities. Reuters
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Billionaire Warren Buffett has dropped out of the exclusive $100 billion club after donating about $4bn worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to charities including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Forbes.

The Gates Foundation was the biggest recipient of Mr Buffet's annual donation, receiving about $3.1bn worth of stock, while the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which was founded by Mr Buffett’s late wife in 1964, received shares worth $300 million.

“Three other charitable organisations set up by his three children received stock worth roughly $200m each: the Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G Buffett Foundation and the NoVo Foundation,” Forbes said.

The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, has been donating to the same five charities every year since 2006 as part of his giving pledge, in which plans to give away all of his shares in the Nebraska-based conglomerate after his death.

Before taking into account his latest donation of more than 14.4 million class B shares, Mr Buffett, 91, was the world’s fifth-richest person with a personal fortune of $100.2bn, according to Forbes data.

It is estimated that Mr Buffet now has a net worth of $96.2bn. This is based on his current ownership of 229,016 class A shares and 276 class B shares in Berkshire Hathaway, the company said on Tuesday as it confirmed the donations.

Mr Buffett's latest gift further solidifies his place as one of the world’s biggest philanthropists of all time, Forbes said.

“As of January, Forbes estimated the 'Oracle' had given away $46.1bn to charity, outpacing runners-up Bill and Melinda Gates, with whom he cofounded the giving pledge in 2010, by just over $10bn,” it said.

“Much of Buffet’s lifetime giving — amounting to some $2bn to $3bn worth of stock annually in recent years — has gone to the Gates’ foundation, which has put it to work on poverty and healthcare initiatives in developing countries and education in the US.”

In May, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders rejected proposals to have an independent chairman replace Mr Buffett, as well as require his company to disclose more about its climate-related risks and efforts to improve diversity, Reuters reported.

Shareholders supported letting Mr Buffett, who has run the company since 1965, retain both the chairman and chief executive roles by a nearly six-to-one margin, Berkshire said at its annual meeting.

Updated: June 15, 2022, 8:26 AM