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Sammons Enterprises: For The Long Haul

July 8, 2013

When a company doesn’t consider five years as a long-term investment you know it’s in it for the long haul. Publicly listed companies are often times pressured by quarterly results. Great profits in the short-term may not actually be a good thing for the company in the long run as more sound options could have been discarded in favor of short-term gains. Privately held companies are comfortable with long-term view points.

Sammons Enterprises is not only privately held but also owned by employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). This company was formed in 1962 but its origin goes back to 1938. Sammons is a diversified holding corporation that owns and runs businesses in various industries. Its employees number in the thousands around the world and assets are close to $55 billion.

Charles A. Sammons established Reserve Life Insurance Company in 1938 in Dallas, Texas. This would be the start of what now is a multibillion dollar enterprise.  Diversification began in the 1950s with the purchase of interests in the communications, industrial products distribution, insurance, travel and hospitality industries.  By the 1970s and 1980s Sammons Enterprises was a conglomerate composed of around 70 companies.  As earlier mentioned the company can really go long-term on investments.  Among its largest companies today are Briggs Equipment and Midland National Life Insurance Company and these firms were both acquired way back in the 1950s.

The ESOP was started by Mr. Sammons in 1979 to promote an employee-shareholder culture and not merely to provide a retirement benefit. Today this privately-held employee owned company is a sprawling empire with three core sectors which are financial services, equipment distribution and real estate.

The enterprise offers life insurance products, designs and sells insurance and various financial products to banks, insurance companies, trusts, hospitals and others. It provides lift trucks and parts, rents and sells material handling equipment, and provides parts and fleet management services. It owns a resort with spa, conference room, and accommodation room amenities.

With its long-term investment horizon this company will be around for decades to come.

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