How did Warren Buffett's "Stop Coddling the Super Rich" op-ed go over with his employees? Would they embrace their bosses line on wealth, or fire off a stinging retort in The Wall Street Journal opinion section to contradict him? Today, DealBook's Andrew Ross Sorkin profiled one such mega-rich employee, Ted Weschler, who was hired to manage the fund after shelling out over $5 million in charity auctions to dine with his new boss. And he seems to be the epitome of the cheerful guy who's in lock-step with his boss--even taking a pay cut and paying higher taxes to work for him, we're told.
In his new job at Berkshire, he is expected to be paid significantly less than he was making. (We’ll get to the formula for his compensation in a moment.) And he is going to be giving up a huge tax break. Instead of paying the 15 percent capital gains rate on most of his income like most hedge fund managers and private equity executives, he is going to be taxed at the 35 percent ordinary income level as an employee.
And why not? The former hedge fund manager still earns "seven figures, and potentially more" at his new job, so he's very believable sounding when he's quoted by Sorkin as saying things like "When you have enough money to live the lifestyle you want," the most important part of a job is "who you want to work with." And Weschler comes off pretty self-aware about how he feels about loopholes for the rich:
Like Mr. Buffett, Mr. Weschler says he doesn't believe the tax loopholes for hedge fund managers make sense. "When my accountant first told me about it," he said he responded "You can't be serious." But he added quickly, "I'm not complaining."