Founder's Death Brings Buyer Inquiries for WCI

Surely not, we said, when told that bids for Waschka Capital Investments were being solicited even before last Thursday's funeral for its founder and sole owner, Larry Waschka.

And we were right.

Barry Jewell, attorney for WCI and Waschka's estate, said the company was not being shopped around but several unsolicited inquiries had been received from potential buyers. He wouldn't identify them, naturally.

According to an e-mail Waschka's young widow, Jessica, sent to clients last Monday, the company will continue to operate using the investment strategy devised by Waschka and Charles Martin, a chartered financial analyst and Ph.D. in financial economics.

Angie Johnson, vice president for the past 12 years, and Jill Cox, COO, are staying on.

Representatives from the Council of Independent Financial Advisors, an organization Waschka helped found, were to visit WCI last week to review the company's investment strategy.

And Jessica Waschka named a "board of advisors" to help her decide what to do in the future. Its members: John Steuri, former chairman and CEO of Alltel Information Services and a director of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.; William C. Nolan, chairman of Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado; Bobby Stephens, former executive vice president of Beverly Enterprises Inc. of Fort Smith; Greg Hatcher, president of The Hatcher Agency of Little Rock; and John Flake, chairman of Flake & Kelley Commercial of Little Rock.

Waschka, 42, drowned Nov. 5 while on a family vacation to Ixtapa, Mexico.