Article Library



A Contrarian's View on Retiring: Don't Do It

Published June 1, 1990 Donald J. Jonovic |

If a business owner retires at 65, plays 18 holes of golf a day, 365 days a year, until the day the actuaries predict he'll join the Eternal Cash Flow, he'll have to flog 660,000 golf balls off the en...


Why We'll Never Go Public

Published May 30, 1990 Samuel C. Johnson |

The fourth-generation leader of Johnson Wax praises the enduring advantages of the privately held family firm: Secrecy. Stability. Flexibility. And, yes, generosity.


They Foresee the Future and it Works for Them

Published May 1, 1990 Louis Moscatello |

The Kiplingers practically invented the newsletter style of journalism, and were ahead of their time in organizing a family business, too.


Comes the Revolution at Dexter Corp.

Published May 1, 1990 Jayne A. Pearl-Hommel |

This old-line Yankee family company was accustomed to breaking with the past. But why did it have to turn to an outsider for leadership?


Using an LBO to Keep a Firm in the Family

Published May 1, 1990 Mike Cohn |

John Kramer's recent success created his current dilemma. As a building materials distributor, he had seen sales jump from $5 million to $20 million in five years.Now, at age 60, John was pleased to h...


To A Son, On His Entering The Business

Published May 1, 1990 Family Business |

"Advice is seldom welcome," Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son, "and those who want it the most always like it the least." And yet generations of fathers have, like Chesterfield, offered words of wisd...


The Smart Way to Cast Off That Shadow CEO

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

Too frequently, naming Junior as the company CEO is a purely symbolic act. In these cases, the title of chief executive officer sounds important and prestigious, but it signifies nothing.The reason fo...


Hire Who? What? Pass the Spinach

Published May 1, 1990 David Graulich |

When business schools teach case studies about family business, a favorite technique is to create a scenario at the family dinner table. Unlike managers of other businesses, who have their big meeting...


Spinning Off Some Company Assets: A Capital Idea

Published May 1, 1990 Francois M. de Visscher |

Capital needs of a family and its business can clash, as CEO Dave Watkins learned at the last meeting of the 17 family shareholders of Watkins Construction Company in Dublin, Idaho. All but two wante...


The Politics of Family Boards

Published May 1, 1990 Peter Davis |

One of the boards I serve on engages regularly in a kind of ritualistic jousting with the founder and CEO. We try to show him that he can't continue to violate the most basic of management principles...


Hooray for Our Team!

Published May 1, 1990 Neil Cohen |

Family owners who've become more savvy as promoters, and more aggressive as salespeople, are leading the comeback of minor league baseball franchises.


How to Benefit from Creative Use of an ESOP

Published May 1, 1990 David L. James |

An employee stock ownership plan is not just a way to reward longstanding, loyal employees with a stake in the business. Creatively employed, it can bring significant tax benefits to owners and employ...


Just Sell High, Buy Back Low, and Watch Your Sales Triple

Published May 1, 1990 Dan Rottenberg |

It's a neat trick if you can pull it off. The Hansbergers did, selling their golf equipment company to Colgate-Palmolive, then buying it back and reaping a bonanza.


A Death in the Business

Published April 1, 1990 Dan Rottenberg |

Even as Hasbro's brilliant chairman sought to conceal his terminal illness, he was positioning the company for his younger brother.


How to Negotiate a Compensation Plan, Painlessly

Published April 1, 1990 Donald J. Jonovic |

The hired gun


Can You Keep A Secret? Maybe You Shouldn't

Published April 1, 1990 Kenneth Kaye |



What the Levys Learned from Disaster

Published April 1, 1990 Barbara B. Buchholz |

One of America's premier family-owned antiques firms split apart in the 1970s. Out of the wreckage was born a successful new father-son partnership.


Customer Service, Family Style

Published April 1, 1990 Howard Muson |

Everybody talks about the importance of service, but family companies may have an edge in providing it.


Why We Failed at Succession: A Son's View

Published April 1, 1990 James C. Farah |

There were plenty of signals. But sometimes you ignore them.


Why It's Better to Buy Out Than to Receive

Published April 1, 1990 Mike Cohn |

Estate planning