Article Library



Misleading Balance Sheets

Published May 30, 1997 Peter Baudoin |

Joe Maravich, founder of a wood products manufacturing company, died two years ago at the age of 89. At the time of his death, total stockholder equity in the business, as indicated on the balance sh...


Hiring Top Guns

Published May 30, 1997 Jayne A. Pearl |

All Metro Health Care in Lynbrook, New York, was a small fish in a rapidly expanding pond. The home health care market was exploding, creating great demand for nurses, aides, house cleaners, and nann...


Yin and Yang as Co-Presidents

Published May 30, 1997 Ivan Lansberg |

Imagine a business led by two siblings who share ownership and management responsibilities equally, yet are as unlike in style and personality as Beethoven and the Beach Boys. Imagine further that in...


Equality Is Often Unfair

Published May 30, 1997 John F. Hopkins |

Almost all parents, in their estate planning, say they want their assets to be divided equally among their children. This concept seems so obviously “fair” that it's rarely even challenged. Psycho...


Who Profits from a Capital Gains Cut?

Published May 30, 1997 Lloyd Greif |

The American public is in for a cut in the capital gains tax if the broad outlines of a budget record reached in May by Congress and the Clinton Administration hold. Thanks to a strong economy, a Rep...


How to Run Your Own Family Meetings

Published May 30, 1997 Sharon P. Krone |

Sara Wells approaches the front of the room and pauses to organize her opening statements for her family’s first-ever family meeting. Her voice quivers as she introduces herself and the purpose...


Postcards from Down Under

Published May 30, 1997 Christopher Jay |

Most social trends that originate in America take about 18 months to migrate across the Pacific to Australia. Interest in the study of family business has taken a bit longer. Although family business...


The Spirits of '76

Published May 30, 1997 Gregory K. Ericksen |

Since 1860 the Koch family had run its own brewery in St. Louis. Every eldest son had become a brewmaster. Then the big breweries began driving out the little ones. After the family business withered...


With Liberty and Career Development For All

Published May 30, 1997 James E. Barrett |

“We want the business to stay in the family. We’d like the kids to run it or to go as far as they can in the company.” With variations, I’ve been hearing this message from bus...


A Death Benefit That Saves Taxes

Published May 30, 1997 Allen F. Ross |

One of the most underutilized business and personal planning tools is the Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association trust, which provides a death benefit for employees who participate. When ...


Building the High-EQ Board

Published May 30, 1997 Howard Fischer |

Peter A. Benoliel was in his mid-30s when he became CEO of the Quaker Chemical Corp., a family owned maker of specialty chemicals just outside Philadelphia. At the time, the company, bought by his fa...


Skip Nottberg's Bridge to the Future

Published March 30, 1997 Paul Karofsky |

In the 1980s, changes in the construction industry and overexpansion threatened Kansas City-based U.S. Engineering Company with financial collapse. Henry “Skip” Nottberg, fourth-generatio...


Serving Customers in Real Time

Published March 30, 1997 C. Britt Beemer |

When you think about servicing customers, you should consider that consumers shop fewer stores today. Because of increasing time constraints, by the year 2000, Americans making a major purchase will p...


The Formal Board vs. The Advisory Board

Published March 30, 1997 Charles W. Murdock |

Many family businesses in recent years have recognized the value of having some sort of deliberative peer body to provide advice and guidance to management. In some companies that body takes the form ...


The Ghost in the Boardroom

Published March 30, 1997 Manfred Kets de Vries |

Didier Anzieu, a psychoanalyst and management consultant, was wrestling with a knotty question: What recommendations should he give to Bernard Lambert, president of the Dunor Corp.? Lambert had recen...


Sibling Behavior Decoded

Published March 30, 1997 Ellen Frankenberg |

As a family psychologist and consultant to family firms, one of my most rewarding experiences is to sit down with brothers and sisters as they renegotiate old rivalries and stereotypes from childhood...


Once More Into The Breach

Published March 30, 1997 Howard Muson |

When speaking of estate taxes, supporters of reform like to refer to “death taxes,” suggesting that the tax itself is a killer too—of successful businesses. Last year a coalition of...


Will Your Company Follow the Dodo Bird?

Published March 30, 1997 James E. Barrett |

Family business owners usually talk proudly of their firm’s “culture.” Stories are told and retold to emphasize a value, a desired behavior, or the importance of a principle. The culture of a su...


Stop Kidding Yourself About Kids' Pay

Published March 30, 1997 Peter Baudoin |

For 13 years, the oldest son in a family business didn’t complain about receiving the same pay as his four brothers. Though Jeff worked three times harder than the others—with responsibil...


Why Your Firm Needs PR

Published March 30, 1997 Deanne Stone |

A surprising number of small and medium-sized family businesses give short shrift to public relations. Some naively believe that their products and services speak for themselves. Others intentionally...