Business, Too Close To Home

Passing a family-owned firm to the next generation can be emotional and require legal planning and financial finesse

For Paula Marshall-Chapman, 47, CEO of the Bama Companies, a $140 million Tulsa, Okla., frozen-dough-and-pie concern that started in her grandmother's kitchen in 1927, the road to success has been studded with familial potholes. When Marshall-Chapman took over from her father in 1984, her two brothers were furious that they would not be involved in running the show. The business was changed from a corporation to a partnership, with Marshall-Chapman named general partner. Her parents Lilah and Paul Marshall took their equity out of the business to live on. The structure of the general partnership left the business strapped for cash,...

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