August 21, 2003

Through No Fault of Its Own, Singapore Firm Dashes My Hopes

Hey, everyone! Sorry for the long absence. The cover story I am using is that I had a truly awful sinus infection over the past couple of days which required me to stay home from work. But in reality, I was severely depressed. For I realized this week that I will never have my own family-named multinational conglomerate.

It's been done.

Much to my great surprise and amazement, I learned this week that an East Asian conglomerate with interests in shipping, marine transport, oil drilling, property and other areas carries a variant of my family name. Indeed, the good people at the Keppel Corporation Ltd have been doing business since 1968, when the company was incorporated as Kepple Shipyard (Pte) Ltd.

Now when I say multinational, I mean multinational. They have holdings in 26 countries. They have shipyard interests in Azerbijian, oil interests in Texas, heavy industries in the United Arab Emirates, and land holdings around East Asia. They even have their own office tower, which is very nice. It's near Keppel Harbour in Singapore.

Of course, I must say I'm very proud the large and profitable Keppel Corp Ltd bears my family name*, even though no one of my relation has anything to do with it. But I'm just disappointed. You see, with one Keppel Corp. in existence, there really can't be any others. No, really. I mean, even if I ever got Kepple Corp. off the ground and it dealt entirely with something like importing fruit, there'd still be a nasty trademark lawsuit. That's because no one can ever spell Kepple/Keppel/Koeppel/Keple/Kapple correctly. An administrative law judge would see this three minutes into the trial, and I'd have to change the company name to Lucky No. 1 Provident Fund Scheme LLC or something like that.

Still, I am not without hope. The Keppel Corp Ltd is a publicly traded firm, and given today's closing stock price I may only need US$1.3 billion to get control. I'm confident that in 800 or 900 years, my descendents will have amassed enough of a fortune in order to do that. In the meantime, I may just send away for a prospectus -- and definitely start thinking up some names of my own.

* Kepple, Keppel, etc. are all variants of the original German surname Koeppel.

UPDATE: They also have a great slogan I wanted to use! "Keppel Means Business." Gad!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 21, 2003 10:19 PM | TrackBack

While I can see how this development is a real blow, I remain confident that the Kepple family dynasty will prevail over the longer term. Your projection of it taking nearly a millenium to take control of Kepplel Corp Ltd. is probably pretty darn accurate, but what does a period of 800 to 900 years really mean in relation to the long standing march of human progress.

Posted by: Swammi in Solon at August 22, 2003 09:33 AM