Wesco Financial

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Wesco Financial Corporation
Type Private
Industry Insurance,Furniture Rental,Steel
Founded 1959
Headquarters 301 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, California
Key people Charles T. Munger, Former Chairman/CEO
Revenue Decrease $765 million USD (FY 2010)
Owner(s) Berkshire Hathaway
Employees 2291 (14 at KBS, 2100 at CORT, 172 at Precision Steel, 5 at Wesco) (as of 2010)
Website www.wescofinancial.com
CORT moving van

Wesco Financial Corporation is a diversified financial corporation headquartered in Pasadena, California.

Wesco was originally a savings and loan association. It was for a long time 80.1% owned by Blue Chip Stamps, which is wholly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which is controlled by legendary investor Warren Buffett. Charlie Munger, the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Buffett's business partner, served as CEO and Chairman of Wesco from 1984 to 2011. Munger, formerly a practicing attorney, is known for his straight-shooting style and his conduct at the now discontinued Wesco shareholder meetings in Pasadena, where he used to interact with the outside investors at considerable length.[1] In June 2011 Berkshire Hathaway acquired the approximately 20% of Wesco that it did not already own.[2]

Wesco Financial was previously likened to a miniature version of Berkshire Hathaway by certain observers, although Buffett and Munger cautioned investors that this was not an appropriate comparison. Like its parent company, Wesco provides insurance and reinsurance; it does so through subsidiaries Wesco-Financial Insurance Company and Kansas Bankers Surety. It also holds shares in some of the same companies as Berkshire, like Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo. Controlling interests include CORT Business Services and Precision Steel Warehouse, which has steel service centers in Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Subsidiaries[edit]

Wesco does business in three major categories; insurance, furniture rental, and steel service. The following wholly owned subsidiaries handle most of Wesco's business:

  • Wesco-Financial Insurance, which was incorporated in 1985 and engages in the property and casualty insurance business.
  • Kansas Bankers Surety Company, which was incorporated in 1909, purchased by Wesco in 1996 and provides specialized insurance coverages for banks.
  • CORT Business Services Corporation, furniture rental.
  • Precision Steel Warehouse, Inc., a chain of steel service centers. Precision Steel was founded in 1940 and acquired by Wesco in 1979.
  • MS Property Company, which owns commercial real estate in Pasadena.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://joekusnan.tumblr.com/post/7113195673/charlie-mungers-last-meeting
  2. ^ http://www.wescofinancial.com/Wesco%20Berkshire%20joint%20release%206.23.11.pdf