For today’s cover story of U.S. 1, I talked to Gretchen Sword and Dan Rowe to find out what happened to Wm Sword & Co. after his untimely death. It’s a good story and a cautionary tale for families of small business owners. As below, or the complete story here.
Gretchen Sword was caught up in the throes of grief. Rowe was also grieving, and the daughter and de facto son clashed. “Dan had a new vision of where he wanted to take the company,” Sword says. “I didn’t know what I wanted, but I wanted my father back.” She tried to block the plans that Rowe proposed.
One year later, the firm launched under a new name, Sword, Rowe & Company, a boutique merchant bank focused on offering financial advisory services for private companies
and alternative investment managers….
Daniel Rowe is CEO and managing director, supported wholeheartedly by the Sword family, notably Gretchen Sword. How this happened is a story of knowledge, power, wealth, connections — and people with good hearts.
photo by Mark Czajkowski
Postscript: due to a glitch in one paragraph it looks like I quoted Martha Sword. The quote is from Gretchen Sword.
She (Martha Sword) was ill equipped to take over the business, but her husband had trusted she would have the good sense to find good help. And she knew enough not to sell it. “Immediately there were poachers looking to take over the firm,” she (Gretchen Sword) recalls. “Now I realize that it would have been easy enough for him to sell the assets when there was a rough month. In a 37-year career, there were a lot of ups and downs. I am sure there were many times he could have given up. For us to get through the first year was pretty amazing.”