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“I can’t pick the tops, but I can pick the bottoms.”


wealthymattersJeff Sandefer was once my teacher in school.Since graduating from Harvard Business School in 1986, Sandefer has had many successful business ventures, amassing a personal fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here is the story of how this Texas oilman acquired 17 billion barrels of Australian shale oil reserves in a controversial deal that eventually generated roughly $150 million for his philanthropic organizations. Those nonprofit groups now play a major role in Sandefer’s efforts to change higher education in Texas.

Confidentiality agreements prohibit Sandefer from revealing details of the Australian play. He says he can’t even confirm the identity of his partners, the Ziff brothers of New York, even though their involvement is widely known.

Some in the Australian media have portrayed Sandefer’s 2003 investment in Southern Pacific Petroleum as a calculated ploy to force SPP into liquidation and hijack the company’s vast reserves and technology. Read more of this post

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What Comes First – Reputation Or Profits?


wealthymatters.comIf you go to most family owned companies, their core focus is profitability. How much and how soon? Little time or money is spent in building a reputation. When I visit many of the big India business group offices in India, I rarely see a poster in the visitor’s area that communicates:

What are their business practices?
What do they stand for?
What are their values?
What are their views on treating their employees?

In most Tata Companies, I see that Value Statement at eye level while sitting on the sofa at the reception. It makes me feel nice.

By not aggressively creating a positive reputation, Companies stand the risk of being determined by legacy and hearsay. That’s a big risk that can cost you your business. Read more of this post

Keeping It Within The Family


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