Elghanayanville

How would you characterize your relationship with your brother Henry? The whole division was upsetting. On a business level I

How would you characterize your relationship with your brother Henry?
The whole division was upsetting. On a business level I think we did it very cleanly and amicably, but we were partners—and we’re still brothers forever—and it happened at a very difficult time in all of our lives, meaning my father was very, very ill, critically ill, and my mother was also not feeling well. In fact, my mother ended up dying during the middle of the whole thing, so emotionally it was difficult. But the division was very difficult—it was emotionally very difficult.

On a business level, has it been difficult without the benefit of Henry’s expertise?
Fred and I work well together. I don’t know if it’s a function of our personalities or a function of the numbers, but it’s been easier to run a business with two people than with three.

The coin toss, which determined how Rockrose’s portfolio would be divided into thirds, has taken on mythological status, but I understand that neither you nor Fred was present at the law firm when it all happened. Why not?
Fred and I did not attend, and we’re quite upset about having the coin toss when it took place because it was actually the day after our mother died and we were sitting shiva so there was no reason to do it then. It all happened at a lawyer’s office, and I think it was just [Henry’s son] Justin and Henry. We had a lawyer representing us, but we weren’t going to attend. And, actually, a day after the coin toss, my father, who was very ill, died.

Why didn’t you just postpone the coin toss?
Henry insisted. We had a tight time schedule on the division, and so the schedule called for the coin toss to happen on that day—I think it was March 5—but on March 4 my mother died. So we said, ‘Look, we’re sitting shiva. We’ll delay this thing for a week. It’s not a big deal anyway.’ But Henry was insistent on going ahead with it.

Why so insistent?
I’ll tell you, I’m still scratching my head about it. There were a lot of financial things floating around in the division and a lot of decisions to be made, and we made those on a pretty friendly basis. But a thing like this, Fred and I are still scratching our heads.

Did Henry ever sit shiva?
He did, but part of sitting shiva is not doing business.

It sounds like there’s still some tension.
Yeah, well, there’s no business tension because we don’t have any business dealings. It’s just that the manner that it was done, I think, has left some bad feelings.

Do you get together for dinners?
We get together for family events and things like that, and I imagine over time things will improve and everything will go back to normal, because we were a very close family.

jsederstrom@observer.com

Elghanayanville