I bought out my brother Jim’s interest in Graff-Pinkert six months ago. I promised him that I would not write about the breakup, but I want to take a few lines to describe how the post breakup is going for me.
The day after our deal closed I was vacationing with my wife, my sister and brother-in-law at the Chautauqua Institution near Jamestown, New York. (We had planned this trip a while before with my sister. That the breakup with Jim culminated at the same time was an odd coincidence.) The four of us were having lunch on the grounds when my iPhone rang and Jim’s name came up. I gulped, walked outside and took the call.
Jim quickly got to the point. There was a deal available with Wickmans and Hydromats. He had already looked at it. He wanted to know if I was interested in buying it. My head spun. Was this déjà vu? Was it 2012 or 2011? We had just broken up a 40-year relationship and now he was calling me to work on a deal?
“Well, uh, yes,” I stammered back. “Sure.” It was a pretty short conversation. This was not exactly how I expected my first day of solo ownership of the family business to go.