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About Lawrence A. Cunningham
Cunningham consults on corporate governance and has served on numerous corporate boards, of both private and public companies, including Constellation Software Inc., where is currently vice chairman. He is also a sought after speaker and is happy to share his knowledge with groups ranging from corporate boards to investing societies and civic leaders.
At George Washington University, he is the Founding Faculty Director of the Quality Shareholders Inititiative, which shines a spotlight on a particular sort of invetor: not traders and indexers, already in the spotlight, but patient focused investors.
Cunningham enjoys teaching, writing, reading, running, biking, swimming, and spending time with his wife and two daughters, especially at the beach.
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The fifth edition of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America continues a 25-year tradition of collating Warren Buffett's philosophy in a historic collaboration between Mr. Buffett and Prof. Lawrence Cunningham. As the book Buffett autographs most, its popularity and longevity attest to the widespread appetite for this unique compilation of Mr. Buffett’s thoughts that is at once comprehensive, non-repetitive, and digestible. New and experienced readers alike will gain an invaluable informal education by perusing this classic arrangement of Mr. Buffett's best writings.
“Larry Cunningham has done a great job at collating our philosophy.”—Warren Buffett
"Larry Cunningham takes Buffett's brilliant letters to a still-higher level by organizing them into single-subject chapters. The book begins, moreover, with an excellent introduction by Larry.”—Carol Loomis
“The book on Buffett—a superb job.”—Forbes
“Extraordinary—full of wisdom, humor, and common sense.”—Money
“A classic on value investing and the definitive source on Buffett.”—Financial Times
The best companies often appear to be characterized by an ineffable something, much like that of people who seem graced by a lucky gene. Think about those of your peers who seem a lot like you but somehow always catch a break. They are not obviously smarter, smoother, richer, or better-looking than you, yet they are admitted to their university of choice, get their dream job, and earn considerable wealth. Try to discern what they have that you don't, and you are stumped. Chalk it up to fate or plain dumb luck.
Businesses can be similar. For reasons that are not always evident, some end up doing the right things with better results than average. They may not appear to be savvier acquirers, more adept marketers, or bolder pioneers, yet they integrate new businesses better, launch products more successfully, and open new markets with fewer mishaps. Perhaps through some combination of vision, scale, or business philosophy, these companies uncannily come out ahead.
In our view, three characteristics indicate quality. These are strong, predictable cash generation; sustainably high returns on capital; and attractive growth opportunities.
Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway, are legendary for their distinctive investing approach. Yet many equally unconventional but less well known aspects of Berkshire’s managerial practices and organizational structure are rich with lessons for those seeking to follow in Buffett’s footsteps. Margin of Trust is the first book to distill Buffett’s approach to management and corporate life. It provides a definitive analysis of the tenets of the Berkshire system, its costs and benefits, and how it can be adapted for other organizations.
Lawrence A. Cunningham and Stephanie Cuba develop a new account of how Berkshire Hathaway works, showing that the key to its success is trust. Profiling partnership practices and business methods, they contend that Berkshire’s distinguishing feature is a culture in which autonomy and decentralization are core management principles. Cunningham and Cuba provide instructive examples of how this model has been successfully adapted by other companies that share a faith in trust as an organizing principle. They also offer candid commentary on the risks of a trust-based approach and how to mitigate them. Margin of Trust features illuminating analysis of Buffett’s take on the role trust plays in business agreements, what Buffett looks for in great corporate boards, and what lies ahead for Berkshire after its iconic leader leaves the scene.
But with thousands of shareholder letters written every year, how can investors and students of the corporate world sift this vast swathe to unearth the best insights?
Dear Shareholder is the solution!
In this masterly new collection, Lawrence A. Cunningham, business expert and acclaimed editor of The Essays of Warren Buffett, presents the finest writers in the genre of the shareholder letter, and the most significant excerpts from their total output. Skillfully curated, edited and arranged, these letters showcase the ultimate in business and investment knowledge from an all-star team.
Dear Shareholder holds letters by more than 20 different leaders from 16 companies. These leaders include Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Tom Gayner (Markel), Kay Graham and Don Graham (The Washington Post and Graham Holdings), Roberto Goizueta (Coca-Cola), Ginni Rometty (IBM), and Prem Watsa (Fairfax).
Topics covered in these letters include the long-term focus, corporate culture and commitment to values, capital allocation, buybacks, dividends, acquisitions, management, business strategy, and executive compensation.
As we survey the corporate landscape in search of outstanding companies run by first-rate managers, shareholder letters are a valuable resource. The letters also contain a wealth of knowledge on the core topics of effective business management. Let Dear Shareholder be your guide.
A profile of Berkshire Hathaway, the keys to its success, and how it can survive beyond its iconic chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett.
In a comprehensive portrait of the corporate culture that unites Berkshire’s subsidiaries, Lawrence Cunningham unearths the traits that assure the conglomerate's perpetual prosperity. Riveting stories of each subsidiary’s origins, triumphs, and journey to Berkshire reveal how managers generate economic value from intangibles like thrift, integrity, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and a sense of permanence.
Berkshire Beyond Buffett explores not only what will happen to Berkshire after Buffett, but presents all of Berkshire behind Buffett, the inspiring managerial luminaries, innovative entrepreneurs, and devotees of deep values that define this esteemed organization.
Whether or not you are convinced that Berkshire can endure without Buffett, the book is full of management lessons for small and large businesses, entrepreneurs, family firms, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Enjoy entertaining tales from Berkshire’s 50 main subsidiaries, including Dairy Queen, GEICO, Benjamin Moore, Fruit of the Loom, BNSF, Justin, Pampered Chef, Marmon, Clayton Homes, FlightSafety, and more.
“An invaluable read for entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, managers and anyone wanting to learn more about corporate stewardship.”—The Economist
“How did Warren Buffett build such a great firm as Berkshire Hathaway? To unravel this mystery, Lawrence Cunningham takes a deep dive inside the cultures of Berkshire's subsidiaries, highlighting the value of integrity, kinship, and autonomy—and revealing how building moats around the castles may help the firm outlast its visionary founder.”—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take
Selected as one of Motley Fool’s "5 Great Books You Should Read"
In The AIG Story, the company's long-term CEO Hank Greenberg (1967 to 2005) and GW professor and corporate governance expert Lawrence Cunningham chronicle the origins of the company and its relentless pioneering of open markets everywhere in the world. They regale readers with riveting vignettes of how AIG grew from a modest group of insurance enterprises in 1970 to the largest insurance company in world history. They help us understand AIG's distinctive entrepreneurial culture and how its outstanding employees worldwide helped pave the road to globalization.
- Corrects numerous common misconceptions about AIG that arose due to its role at the center of the financial crisis of 2008.
- A unique account of AIG by one of the iconic business leaders of the twentieth century who developed close relationships with many of the most important world leaders of the period and helped to open markets everywhere
- Offers new critical perspective on battles with N. Y. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the 2008 U.S. government seizure of AIG amid the financial crisis
- Shares considerable information not previously made public
The AIG Story captures an impressive saga in business history--one of innovation, vision and leadership at a company that was nearly--destroyed with a few strokes of governmental pens. The AIG Story carries important lessons and implications for the U.S., especially its role in international affairs, its approach to business, its legal system and its handling of financial crises.
While the principal tangible result of the conference was the publication of the international best-seller, The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, the transcript of the symposium is now being made available with annotations and updated commentary that show just how timeless the topics are and how venerable the principles Buffett laid out remain. Lawrence Cunningham had the honor of hosting the event, editing The Essays, and now publishing this archival treasure, with current assessments by such luminaries as Robert Hagstrom as well as several participants from the original symposium.
The contributors whisk readers through the exciting schedule of surrounding events--book signings, panel discussions and social gatherings--and share the pulse of this distinctive corporate culture. Spanning decades, the book offers glimpses of the past and ideas of what lies ahead. To learn about what makes Buffett’s shareholders tick and all the happenings at the Berkshire Meeting, and to reminisce about past Meetings, make this delightful book your companion.
Includes work by these bestselling authors:
- Robert Hagstrom
- Robert Miles
- Jason Zweig
- Joel Greenblatt
- Vitally Katsenelson
- Jeff Matthews
- Charlie Tian
- Whitney Tilson
- Prem Jain
- Karen Linder
Anyone can buy stock in a public company, but not all shareholders are equally committed to a company’s long-term success. In an increasingly fragmented financial world, shareholders’ attitudes toward the companies in which they invest vary widely, from time horizon to conviction. Faced with indexers, short-term traders, and activists, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure that their shareholders are dedicated to their missions. Today’s companies need “quality shareholders,” as Warren Buffett called those who “load up and stick around,” or buy large stakes and hold for long periods.
Lawrence A. Cunningham offers an expert guide to the benefits of attracting and keeping quality shareholders. He demonstrates that a high density of dedicated long-term shareholders results in numerous comparative and competitive advantages for companies and their managers, including a longer runway to execute business strategy and a loyal cohort against adversity. Cunningham explores dozens of corporate practices and policies—such as rational capital allocation, long-term performance metrics, and a shareholder orientation—that can help shape the shareholder base and bring in committed owners. Focusing on the benefits for corporations and their investors, he reveals what draws quality shareholders to certain companies and what it means to have them in an investor base. This book is vital reading for investors, executives, and directors seeking to understand and attract the kind of shareholders that their companies need.
Aunque resulta difícil definir qué es la calidad, muchas veces la reconocemos de manera intuitiva. Sin embargo, cuando se trata de invertir, esto es más complicado. ¿Qué hace que una empresa sea de calidad? ¿Qué le permite ser especial y digna de nuestra inversión? Según este libro, los rasgos principales de estas empresas son tres: una gran liquidez, un rendimiento elevado y sostenible del capital, y unas oportunidades de crecimiento atractivas. Dicho de otra forma: las mejores inversiones son aquellas que combinan un fuerte crecimiento con unos buenos rendimientos del capital para reinvertir.
En Invirtiendo en calidad se explica con detalle cuáles son las cualidades que definen este tipo de inversiones, las características que permiten a estas empresas calificadas obtener buenos resultados financieros, los peligros a los que éstas se enfrentan y, finalmente, en qué consiste y cuáles son los retos de estas estrategias de inversión. En sus páginas encontrarás herramientas analíticas, casos prácticos de empresas de calidad y de otras fallidas, y la experiencia acumulada durante décadas en la inversión.
Invertir en calidad no es una receta, sino un proceso de aprendizaje que dura toda la vida. Este libro es la llave de entrada, y al mismo tiempo un manual de inversión y una oda a las grandes empresas que funcionan y generan riqueza.
How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett wraps a lifetime of investing wisdom into one highly accessible package. An intelligent guide to analyzing and valuing investment targets, it tells investors what questions to ask, what answers to expect, and how to approach any stock as a skeptical, common-sense business analyst.
Above all, this fast-paced book provides investors with the tools they need to thoroughly value any business in which they might invest. A common-sense approach to investing, this book discusses:
- Three things investors must get from a financial statement
- Valuation examples from today's top companies including GE, Amazon, Microsoft, and Disney
- Why prices deviate from actual values