Vale Charlie Munger

By Chloe Walker

His death was announced yesterday by the Omaha-based investment company he helped lead alongside legendary investor and long-time friend Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway said Munger died peacefully at a hospital in California, where he lived. No cause of death was given.

"Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie's inspiration, wisdom and participation," Buffett said in a statement.

Regarded by many as one of the great investors of the last century, Munger joined Berkshire Hathaway in 1975, where Buffett was chair. Munger became vice-chair in 1978.

Over the course of six decades, Buffett and Munger turned the company into a multinational conglomerate worth billions of dollars, with numerous business units.

While Buffett was widely known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Munger was often called the "Abominable No-Man" due to his candid and straightforward approach.

Munger was renowned for his analytical mind, dry sense of humour, and ability to simplify complex concepts into easily understandable ideas.

Munger shared Buffett's investment philosophy but also brought his own unique insights to the table.

Munger believed that approaching investment decisions with a multidisciplinary perspective was essential to making sound judgments.

"Munger really helped change the direction of Buffett's approach to investing, and then the rest is history - one of the most successful business partnerships of all time," Centaur Financial Services managing director and self-proclaimed Munger fan Hugh Robertson told Financial Standard.

"I will truly miss listening in to Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings and seeing those two up on stage bantering with each other. Charlie was the guy that just answered off the top of his head - he wasn't afraid to say it how it was..."

Auscap Asset Management founder Tim Carleton echoed Robertson's statement.

"At the Berkshire Hathaway annual general meetings, Munger and Buffett would spend many hours keeping tens of thousands of attendees entertained listening to their thoughts on all things relating to investing," he said.

"Munger was clearly one of the best investors the world has seen and was generous in passing on his wisdom to others."

Robertson added: "Buffett once said, 'Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.' I believe that's what Charlie Munger has done for the investment industry. He planted the seeds."

Buffett, who has a fortune of US$119.6 billion, is among the richest people on earth. Just last week, Buffett revealed the details of his succession plan.

A billionaire in his own right, Munger had a personal fortune of some US$2.6 billion.