Warren Buffett Gives $4.1B To Foundations While Quitting As Gates Foundation Trustee

Warren Buffett has announced he is donating $4.1 billion of his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) shares to five charitable foundations – four of them with family connections – and is stepping down as a trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Half-Way Mark: In a statement issued by his company, the 90-year-old Buffett recalled his 2006 pledge to channel all of his Berkshire Hathaway shares to philanthropy, and noted that the latest donation put him at the halfway mark.

“In June of 2006, I owned 474,998 “A” shares,” he said. “Now, I own 238,624 shares, worth about $100 billion. All remain destined for philanthropy.”

The five entities receiving Buffett’s funds are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.

However, Buffett appears to be keeping most of his charitable outreach very close to home. The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation was created by Buffett and named in honor of his late wife, while the Sherwood Foundation is chaired by his daughter Susan A. Buffett. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation are founded and chaired by the billionaire’s sons Howard G. Buffett and Peter Buffett, respectively.

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Closing The Gates: As for the fifth recipient of the philanthropic billions, Buffett has no family ties to its founders Bill and Melinda Gates, but has served on its board of trustees. However, his announcement included news that he's resigning from his trustee role.

Buffett did not explain his decision to step down, only claiming to be an “inactive trustee” while adding that his “goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals.”

The future of that foundation has been the subject of speculation following the recent announcement by Bill Gates that the couple is divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

Photo by freeimage4life / Flickr Creative Commons.

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