Article Library



Anticipating the Needs of the Grandkids

Published May 30, 1993 Mike Cohn |

After Mort Spahn and his wife, Shirley, sold their chain of toy stores they began working diligently on their estate plan. As part of the plan, Mort, 70, and Shirley, 66, wanted to do something for t...


Why Some Family Firms Need a Scapegoat

Published May 30, 1993 Suzanne Stier |

The Lowrey family owns an elite private school on 150 acres of land in California's Orange County. Along with the parents, Bill and Mary, the school's founders, three of the Lowreys' married children...


Sweet Company, Bitter Fight

Published May 30, 1993 Charles Storch |

Last April The Chicago Tribune reported on a family feud at the Blommer Chocolate Co., a $150 million confection maker in Chicago. The battle between the heirs of two of the three brothers who founde...


Twelve Tasks in Succession

Published May 30, 1993 Ivan Lansberg |

In my first session with owners of a family business, I have a simple, quick way of assessing how much thought they have given to continuity planning. After interviewing the power-holders individuall...


The Immortals

Published May 30, 1993 Howard Muson |

This october leaders of 25 of the world's oldest business dynasties will meet in Germany. They call themselves Les Hénokiens, after the Biblical patriarch Enoch, and they claim to comprise the...


Guarding the Family Name

Published May 30, 1993 Ellen Hawkes |

Ernest and Julio Gallo have built the world's largest wine empire. Poor when their parents died in 1933, they turned the family grape-growing business into a winery in Modesto, California, and raised...


Trusting the Business to Trustees

Published May 30, 1993 Michael L. Fay |

For families that run businesses, one of the most important uses of a trust is to ensure the smooth transfer of leadership and ownership from the current generation to the upcoming one. A trust is ...


The Charitable Way to Transfer a Business

Published March 30, 1993 Mike Cohn |

Royce, 72, was the sole owner of a successful 250-room hotel. He was proud that he and his son, George, 43, had built the company's value to $7.5 million without incurring a cent of debt. George had ...


Leather By Any Other Name Smells Just As Sweet

Published March 30, 1993 Robert Berman |

The smell of leather is so alluring that when visitors arrive at Berman Leather Co. they close their eyes and breathe in deeply, before even saying hello. That is the only similarity, however, betwee...


Asking the Right Questions About Your Future

Published March 30, 1993 Paul Frishkoff |

Clients as well as students sometimes come to us for advice about careers in the family business. Usually, they are pondering questions like: Should I join the business? Should I remain in the busine...


Widows Who Become Pilots Without Ever Flying

Published March 30, 1993 Leon Danco |

Virtually an entire generation of business founders made the same mistake: Dad wanted to make sure that after he was gone Mom didn't have to take in laundry in order to support herself. Since his onl...


Make-or-Break Criteria for Outside Directors

Published March 30, 1993 Peter Davis |

Most family companies are owner operated and the only board of directors they have is a fictitious entity, written about in contrived documents, that is designed to protect the corporate shell in the ...


Through Your Child's Eyes

Published March 30, 1993 Jayne A. Pearl |

A few years ago, Steven Roberts came home from work at 2 a.m. and found his daughter, Linsay, now 17, awake in her room doing homework. “He got so angry that I was still up. He started yelling ...


Fel-Pro's Thousand and One Perks

Published March 30, 1993 Robert Levering |

One way to judge a workplace is to look at what the company provides for the children of its employees. From that viewpoint, Fel-Pro in Skokie, Illinois, one of the world's largest makers of gaskets ...


How To Cut Your Estate Tax By 90 Percent

Published March 30, 1993 Barry Kaye |

As currently structured, the tax system in this country levies an estate tax of up to 55 percent, with minimal deductions, on monies passed down from one generation to the next. There is no plan in s...


Breaking Deadlocks Over Valuation

Published March 30, 1993 John A. Graf |

Most first-generation businesses owe their dynamism to the single-mindedness of the owner and the spirit of entrepreneurship which usually pervades the company. When two or more generations become ac...


Family Business Cooperatives

Published March 30, 1993 John Grossman |

Carpet One is just seven years old but it has 460 stores across the country with combined annual sales of $1.1 billion. What's unusual about this fast-growing organization based in Atlanta is that it...


The 10 Deadly Sins in Estate Planning

Published March 30, 1993 Ross W. Nager |

It's a subject that only lawyers, accountants, and insurance salesmen seem to enjoy discussing. Estate planning requires us to face our mortality. The process seems to imply that we must close the bo...


Passing on Pride of Craft

Published March 30, 1993 James Krohe Jr. |

A fourth generation firm in Chicago, A. Finkl & Sons is a steel mini-mill that melts, forges, heat-treats, and machines customized steel pinion shafts, gear blanks, hammer rams, reamer bodies, an...


Giving Generously to Charity Without Cheating Your Heirs

Published December 30, 1992 William J. Goldberg |

Many owners of family businesses approach retirement with conflicting priorities on thedisposition of their assets. They want to donate as much as possible to charity but worry thatcharitable giving w...