Investor Parag Parikh dies in Omaha traffic accident after Berkshire gathering

06 May 2015


Stock market veteran and one of India's original value investors, Parag Parikh, died in a car crash in the US on Sunday.

Parikh, 61, was on his first visit – a sort of pilgrmage - to Omaha to hear its `Oracle' Warren Buffett speak at the annual gathering.

The accident occurred at about 6:45 am on Sunday as the Parikhs and two other members of his firm, Rajeev Thakkar and Raunak Onker, were leaving for Eppley Airfield after Saturday's meeting.

Thakkar was driving and had stopped at a signal but pulled forward seeing no vehicles crossing, thinking traffic has cleared. A pickup truck collided with his car, Omaha police said.

His wife, Geeta Parikh, 59, remained in critical condition on Monday with head and chest injuries, a Nebraska Medical Center spokeswoman said.

Thakkar and Onkar were treated at the Nebraska Medical Center for minor injuries and released, the spokesman said.

According to the police, Parikh was the only one of the four people in the car not using a seat belt.

Parikh, a chartered accountant by training, was among the first of the professionals in India to enter the broking business.

A practical investor, he had a penchant for value stocks and often held contrarian views in his approach to stock market sentiments, that saw him avoid technology stocks even during the height of the dotcom boom.

Parikh is said to have adopted Buffett-style investing concepts to build a 30-year career in the capital market.

Parikh bought his membership in the Bombay Stock Exchange in 1983 with money his wife Geeta and her mother got from selling some of their jewellery.

Today, his Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services Ltd manages investments and a mutual fund from Mumbai.

Buffett, who was informed of the accident, expressed concern, asking a reporter for information about the circumstances. ''Everyone at Berkshire feels terrible about this,'' Buffett said.

Parikh's body will be cremated in Omaha, said Phani Tej Adidam, a member of the India Association of Nebraska.

Parikh's sons and their wives are expected to arrive in Omaha today, said Adidam, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

The association also helped find an attorney for Thakkar, 42, who was the driver of the car carrying the Parikhs. Police said the driver could face a charge of misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide pending a review of the incident by the City Attorney's Office.

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