Article Library



The Toughest Deal I Ever Made

Published March 1, 1990 Nat Shulman |

It is not easy to give up a long-term love affair with a business. The pain of separation is intense. I know, for I have experienced it. However, the effort is justified by the rewards of watching a...


The Challenge of the Third Generation

Published March 1, 1990 Peter Davis |

"Three generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves," Andrew Carnegie commented on the tendency of families to squander their wealth in a relatively short span of time. There's a message in that for...


You Can't Always Pay What You Want

Published February 1, 1990 David Graulich |

A family enterprise is one that, by definition, engages in some degree of nepotism. Most of the time, nonfamily employees accept this as a fact of life. But can nepotism ever cross the line of accept...


Three Types of Founders--And Their Dark Sides

Published February 1, 1990 Peter Davis |

Though all founders of family businesses are entrepreneurs, not all entrepreneurs become founders. Founders are typically intuitive and emotional people. They obviously have the drive and ambition to...


A Smart Mentor Says, 'Take My Job. Please.'

Published February 1, 1990 Edwin T. Crego Jr. |

To paraphrase an old adage, "Greater loyalty hath no executive than to give up his job to the boss's son." If you're the CEO or key manager of a family-owned business, and you're not related, you k...


The Savvy Way to Shop for a Business Loan

Published February 1, 1990 Stan Luxenberg |

When Leonard Wolf approached a bank to finance his seasonal candy-cane business, he was startled when the loan was approved almost immediately. His son Stevan, a stockholder in the candy factory loca...


Calling the Family to Order

Published February 1, 1990 Benjamin Benson |

It happens all too often: Entrepreneurs start new businesses and succeed beyond their wildest dreams. But rather than adding to the quality of family life, the business threatens to destroy it. Some ...


Who's In, Who's Out? The Case for Clear Rules

Published February 1, 1990 Gerald Le Van |

Too often, family businesses practice what I call birdcage management. Outside blood is rarely brought in to help the company grow or to tackle tough business problems.The same family members, with t...


The Sweet Smell of Succession

Published February 1, 1990 Jack Nessel |

ESTéE LAUDER INC. was literally a mom-and-pop company when Leonard Lauder joined it in 1958, after graduating from the Wharton School and serving three years as a Navy officer. The company fou...


New Policies for the 'Uninsurable'

Published February 1, 1990 Sam Radin |

When it comes to estate-tax planning, the health of a family business need not be tied to the health of the business owner. Often, the preferred way to fund those estate taxes, which start at 18 perc...


Whose Company is this Anyway?

Published February 1, 1990 Kevin McManus |

"Don't get any fancy ideas about trying to make this a family company again." That's the sort of thing that an outside director really should not say to a proud descendant of the founder of a family ...


Why Can't Family Life Be More Like a Business Lunch?

Published February 1, 1990 Kenneth Kaye |

One of my clients recently commented that almost a year had passed since she last saw her brother or father anywhere other than at the office. "We get along well at the company," she said, "but I thi...


Power and Priorities

Published February 1, 1990 Carin Rubenstein |

HIGHLIGHTS   Although women comprise more than half of the American work force, they are under-represented in management of family businesses. Those who are involved often complain of sex d...


Advice from a Smart Cookie

Published February 1, 1990 Chris Barnett |

The family owners want to stay in the business, but for a number of different reasons it makes sense to sell out. Maybe the founder wants to get his hands on his equity and start enjoying life a litt...


Facing the Music in a Divorce

Published February 1, 1990 Janet Bamford |

With its trendy line of teen fashions, Esprit de Corp, the San Francisco-based company that Doug and Susie Tompkins founded 22 years ago, had been growing rapidly when their marriage hit the rocks. ...


Why Willing A Trust Beats Trusting A Will

Published February 1, 1990 Michael G. Goldstein |

When Conrad Nicholson Hilton died at age 91 in 1978, his will ordained that his 28 percent stake in Hilton Hotels Corp., then worth about $125 million, should go to charity, not to his children. But ...


They Know What They Like

Published January 30, 1989 Sandra Conn |

The art collections of large, public corporations aren't the only ones that stand out. Throughout America, family businesses of all sizes are amassing impressive collections of paintings, sculpture, ...


The Family Track

Published January 30, 1989 Sandra Pesmen |

Fifty-seven-year-old Tom Carey sometimes stands at the window of his expansive, antique-filled office, looks down over the carefully manicured Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney, Illinois, festooned w...


The Family Foundation Makes A Comeback

Published January 1, 1989 Roger M. Williams |

The Rockefeller, Mellon, and Mott families do it. So does former junk-bond dealer Michael Milken. And so does Stanley Lopata of St. Louis. Day to day, fathers and sons, daughters and cousins oversee ...


The Emerging Muscle of Family Control

Published January 1, 1989 Peter Davis |

News of deep financial troubles at Wang Labs last summer touched off a wave of speculation over why the company, built by entrepreneur An Wang in the Sixties, lost its way in the Eighties. After the ...