In this issue
In 1993, William Rowe, president of Wichita-based Willie C's Cafe and Bar, left the day-to-day operations of his two-restaurant concern and raised $950,000 for his business in 20 weeks. Rowe had sold the stock in his company directly to the people who came to his restaurants. There are now four Willie C's in Kansas.
It is often said that wealthy people create trusts for their heirs mostly out of distrust. They do not trust the beneficiaries to use the money wisely and avoid exploitation by unscrupulous people. Likewise, when estate planning professionals set up trusts, they tend to focus too exclusively on tax and legal issues. The elaborate strategies they devise are effective in protecting the money and shielding the heirs, but often neglect the heirs' own needs to learn about life and develop into mature adults.
It seems that at least once a week these days I get a phone call from a psychologist or some other therapist asking for advice on how to get into family business consulting. The therapy business appears to be in a slump, and these professionals are seeking new horizons.
When I first visited Hammond Inc. seven years ago, the company had barely managed to fend off a pair of serious, unwanted takeover attempts. The fourth generation fought fiercely to retain family ownership, even in the face of opposition from relatives who preferred to sell. In the end, Caleb Dean Hammond III and his wife, Kathleen D. Hammond, convinced the family to hold on to the map and atlas company that Dean’s great-grandfather founded in 1900.