33. Tracy Britt
40u40 main tracy britt
Age: 28

Financial assistant to the chairman, Berkshire Hathaway
Chairman, Benjamin Moore
Chairman, Larson-Juhl

Britt founded Smart Woman Securities, a not-for-profit that educates female students about investing, while an undergrad at Harvard. As a junior, she cold-mailed Warren Buffett asking if he would meet with her members. To her surprise, he agreed. That kind of chutzpah has served the Kansas native well. After she graduated from Harvard Business School in 2009, she landed on Buffett's doorstep at Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha once again; this time Buffett wound up hiring her as his financial assistant. She hasn't looked back since. Buffett made her chairman of Berkshire-owned framing company Larson-Juhl in 2012 (and had her recruit the CEO), and then did the same at paint retailer Benjamin Moore. With Buffett as a mentor, it's safe to say big things are in Britt's future.

Make that a bushel: When Britt, who grew up on a farm, first visited Berkshire Hathaway after HBS graduation, she showed up with a bushel of sweet corn (and tomatoes) as a gift.

--C.L.


  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated October 17 2012 05:11 PM ET
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