Tony joined GEICO in 1961 at the age of 18; I met him in the mid-1970s. At that time, GEICO, after a fourdecade record of both rapid growth and outstanding underwriting results, suddenly found itself near bankruptcy. A recently-installed management had grossly underestimated GEICO’s loss costs and consequently underpriced its product. It would take many months until those loss-generating policies on GEICO’s books – there were no less than 2.3 million of them – would expire and could then be repriced. The company’s net worth in the meantime was rapidly approaching zero.
Tony于1961年参与GEICO，时年18岁; 我在20世纪70年代中期碰见了他。阿谁时分，GEICO在经过40年快速增加和出色的承保事迹以后，突然接近破产。 新上任的办理层严重低估了GEICO所需支付的价值，因此低估了产品价格。 发生赔偿的保单金额到达230万美元，但直到数月后这些保单才过时，从而可以从新订价。阿谁时分公司的净资产很快接近零。
In 1976, Jack Byrne was brought in as CEO to rescue GEICO. Soon after his arrival, I met him, concluded that he was the perfect man for the job, and began to aggressively buy GEICO shares. Within a few months, Berkshire bought about 1?3 of the company, a portion that later grew to roughly 1?2 without our spending a dime. That stunning accretion occurred because GEICO, after recovering its health, consistently repurchased its shares. All told, this halfinterest in GEICO cost Berkshire $47 million, about what you might pay today for a trophy apartment in New York.
1976年，Jack Byrne被录用担负GEICO的首席履行官。他上任后不久，我碰见了他，认为他是这份任务的最好人选，并末尾积极购置GEICO股票。几个月内，伯克希尔购置了公司约 1 / 3的股分，后来固然没有花一毛钱，但这局部股分比例增加到约1 / 2。因为GEICO在恢复元气后不时回购其股票。总而言之，这局部股权破费了伯克希尔4700万美元，相当于明天你在纽约买一套豪华公寓的价格。
Let’s now fast-forward 17 years to 1993, when Tony Nicely was promoted to CEO. At that point, GEICO’s reputation and profitability had been restored – but not its growth. Indeed, at yearend 1992 the company had only 1.9 million auto policies on its books, far less than its pre-crisis high. In sales volume among U.S. auto insurers, GEICO then ranked an undistinguished seventh.
现在让我们快进17年到1993年，Tony Nicely晋升为首席履行官。那时，GEICO的声誉和盈利才华曾经恢复 - 但它的增加依然没有。抱负上，在1992年事尾，公司账面上只要190万汽车保单，远低于危机前的高点。在美国汽车保险公司中，按销量排名，GEICO排名戋戋第七。
Late in 1995, after Tony had re-energized GEICO, Berkshire made an offer to buy the remaining 50% of the company for $2.3 billion, about 50 times what we had paid for the first half (and people say I never pay up!). Our offer was successful and brought Berkshire a wonderful, but underdeveloped, company and an equally wonderful CEO, who would move GEICO forward beyond my dreams.