Last June, I stepped down as Interim Chairman of Salomon Inc after ten months in the job. You can tell from Berkshire's 1991–92 results that the company didn't miss me while I was gone. But the reverse isn't true: I missed Berkshire and am delighted to be back full-time. There is no job in the world that is more fun than running Berkshire and I count myself lucky to be where I am.
The Salomon post, though far from fun, was interesting and worthwhile: In Fortune's annual survey of America's Most Admired Corporations, conducted last September, Salomon ranked second among 311 companies in the degree to which it improved its reputation. Additionally, Salomon Brothers, the securities subsidiary of Salomon Inc, reported record pre-tax earnings last year—34% above the previous high.
Many people helped in the resolution of Salomon's problems and the righting of the firm, but a few clearly deserve special mention. It is no exaggeration to say that without the combined efforts of Salomon executives Deryck Maughan, Bob Denham, Don Howard, and John MacFarlane, the firm very probably would not have survived. In their work, these men were tireless, effective, supportive and selfless, and I will forever be grateful to them.
Salomon's lead lawyer in its Government matters, Ron Olson of Munger, Tolles & Olson, was also key to our success in getting through this trouble. The firm's problems were not only severe, but complex. At least five authorities—the SEC, the Federal ...