Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the May 23, 2001 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane: Leland Kroll
Leland Kroll describes his company’s new location as
being "on the other side of the corn field." Last month (April
27), Kroll Direct Marketing moved from 4,000 square feet at Princeton
Meadows Office Center to 8,000 square feet on Morgan Lane off
Plainsboro Road, "just one traffic light away."
Bill Barish of Commercial Property Network found the offices for the
growing direct mail marketing company, and
Kroll is delighted with the office, but the space was not his first
choice. "My initial goal was to buy a building," he says.
"I looked for seven years." Kroll examined every possibility
in the geographic area bounded by Route 130 and Route 1 to the east
and west and by Monroe and East Windsor to the north and south. He
looked at large homes, farm houses, and warehouses, as well as office
Nowhere in the area could he find a space that was large enough, or
where zoning would permit the expansion and parking he needed.
"There were a lot in Ewing and Hamilton," he says, "but that
isn’t conducive to where my employees are located."
Some come from the shore and others from areas just east or north
of Plainsboro and he feared the extra few miles of travel on Route
1 it would take to get to Ewing or Hamilton could have induced some
to leave the company.
Having settled for leased space, found with the help of Commercial
Property Network’s Bill Barish, Kroll says he is pleased with his
new offices, which accommodate his 20 employees with room left over
for growth. The fitout was done by LCOR, but he says very few changes
had to be made. Kroll decided to go with all new furniture in
mahogany, purchased from North American Furniture of Linden. This is
his company’s fifth
move. All of the others were to increasingly larger offices in the
same building. "We kept buying a little furniture here, a little
furniture there," he says. "We wanted a more professional
Mahogany in 8,000 square feet of office is a decidedly more
environment than the one in which Kroll began his direct mail career.
That first workspace was a basement. To be exact, it was the basement
of the Scotch Plains home in which his brother-in-law Donn Rappaport
lived at the time. That was 1979; Kroll was four years out of Monmouth
College; and Rappaport was beginning to build American List Counsel,
now the largest direct marketing list broker in the country.
Kroll left American List Counsel in 1989 to start his own company.
He says he and Rappaport remain friendly enough. "We get together
on holidays, and keep the kids close," he says, and the companies
buy from one another.
Like American List’s spin off, Impower, a company that recently
moved into new offices on Dow Jones’ South Brunswick campus, Kroll
Direct Marketing has E-mail direct marketing as a specialty. But it
is another niche, international direct marketing, that is driving
the company’s growth.
The company made its first foray into international business in 1992,
and has since built a database of 2.8 million international
most of them Europeans, that it calls Publibase. In addition to
subsets of this list, it acts as a representative of European list
owners, selling their lists in the United States and thereby providing
them with ancillary income. The company’s Kroll International
division is headquartered in Dublin, a location the company chose
because of its favorable tax environment, well-trained labor pool,
and communications and transportation infrastructures that Kroll terms
Kroll International is headed up by Kevin Eakins, who oversees
in a number of countries, including Germany, France, Belgium, Spain,
the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Selling lists of European
executives and businesses can be lucrative. Kroll says a specialized
list — perhaps of German physicians — would fetch a one-time
use fee of $300 to $400 per 1000. A list of American physicians,
by contrast, would go for about $100 per 1000. But while rates
are higher for international lists, demand is substantially lower,
Part of the reason fewer companies are interested in acquiring the
rights to international lists is that they need to be set up for
trade before such lists can be of any benefit. There Kroll thinks
the Internet will be a major boon. "With the Internet, you can
be global overnight," he says. Setting up a website to accept
foreign currencies is a snap, and makes it "much easier to
Kroll sees great promises in E-mail direct marketing, but acknowledges
that marketing method has a ways to go before it approaches the reach
for postal direct marketing. For one thing, he says, only a small
percentage of E-mail addresses contain much information about their
owners, and some reveal only a name. Without much more substantial
demographic information, including a real-world address, the Internet
addresses are not much good for marketing purposes. And niche E-mail
lists, perhaps of Fortysomething married preachers who live in the
Mid-West and enjoy fishing, often are non-existent.
While these hurdles are universal in cyber-direct marketing, Kroll
says the problems are compounded in Europe. For one thing, it tends
to cost more to surf the Internet across the Pond, because charges
often are racked up by the minute, rather than on a flat monthly fee,
as is the case with nearly all Internet service in the United States.
Another obstacle, Kroll says, is that privacy laws are much stricter
Speaking of privacy, or infringement there upon, does Kroll’s
aimed as it is at delivering marketing messages — sometimes called
junk mail or spam — ever provoke mildly unpleasant remarks at
social gatherings? Sure, he says cheerfully. "I call it
unrequested mail, not junk mail," he says. And when the
conversation takes a nasty turn, he can point out that he receives his
A car buff, he says his purchases of model cars, car accessories,
and the car-themed art that decorates his offices do indeed result
in "unrequested mail," and that, he, for one, welcomes all
such missives. "Really, it’s beneficial."
— Kathleen McGinn Spring
Suite 120, Plainsboro 08536. Leland Kroll, president. 609-275-2900;
fax, 609-275-6606. Home page: www.krolldirect.com.
Morpace Pharma Group, the marketing research company, has expanded
shared office space at HQ in Forrestal Village to 1230 Parkway Avenue
in Ewing and brought its personnel from Doylestown to Ewing. It is
an independent subsidiary of Morpace International, based in Concord,
Morpace does market research on advertising and sales promotion for
existing brands for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Using the
Internet, it integrates data into market models. "We also help
our clients discover which compounds to develop and which indications
will give them the best return," says Les Leathem, vice president.
Among the five people at this location are those doing marketing
research — web-based professional and direct-to-consumer
research. Statisticians from Concord will also move to central New
Jersey. The company also has offices in Boston, Baltimore, London,
and Brussels and plans to open in Tokyo this summer.
The son of an electrician, Leathem grew up in New Orleans and went
to Louisiana State, Class of 1978, followed by stints in
sales, product management, and new product development, He worked
at Rohrer (now Aventis) and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and then at an
advertising agency doing marketing research. Before opening this
of Morpace, he had been with Perq/HCI, a syndicated healthcare
company at Lawrence Commons.
"Our work is not about getting smart Internet strategies,"
says Leathem. "We are trying to help our clients be better about
developing their compounds. In our market research, based on the
we collect data from clients and physicians to help companies
which of their products will bring them the best return."
Suppose a company wants to develop a compound in a particular disease
by 2003. Management needs to know what will happen to the value of
if a competitor launches a product in 2004, one year later. "But
what would happen if the competing product launches in 2002? The trick
is to integrate all that information in a way that the client can
go back and ask questions — how will that affect the value of
Morpace’s platform for therapeutic expertise and number manipulation
is called the MPG Director and targets physician opinions. It is in
an integrated suite of products that can do population modeling and
clinical analysis and what Leathem calls "a variety of other
on the web-based interface." To develop a project takes only a
couple of months. "We use the web to do the upfront development
— the survey can be done on the web for instance — and deliver
the report to our clients more rapidly. It allows us to integrate
all the different kinds of information on diseases, populations, and
Ewing 08628. Les Leathem, vice president. 609-434-1008; fax,
Home page: www.morpacepharma.com
Princeton 08540. Ronald E. Orton, president. 609-919-6350; fax,
Home page: www.jebsens.no
Ronald Orton closed down his Pennsylvania office and has reopened
at the Carnegie Center; he works for an international global
provider with its core business in ocean transportation. For such
clients as grain and fertilizer companies, metals, and mineral
Jebsen’s USA offers logistical services and bulk transportation by
carrier ships. "Some vessels we own, some we charter, some we
manage for others," says Orton.
Jebsens is a 200-person family-run company based in Bergen, Norway
but with offices in Australia, Singapore, Tokyo, London, and the
"Our biggest forte," he says, "is trade within Europe
and TransPacific. We carry lumber and fertilizer from New Zealand
to the West Coast and back." Rather than bid on individual jobs,
the company tries to forge partnerships and long-term contracts
in the Australia-Asia area with Fortune 500 companies. "We book
sales on a 10-year contract carrying copper from Indonesia to the
Philippines, for instance, and build trades upon that. We have
ships that unload 2,000 tons per hour."
Until recently the United States operation was a joint venture with
a German partner, Hartmann. "The chairman of the company decided
to sell his shares back to Hartmann," says Orton. "Hartmann
is continuing as United Bulk Carriers in Wayne, Pennsylvania."
Each group had its own clients. "Our group owns, operates, and
manages somewhere between 20 and 35 oceangoing ships of all different
types. We have three people in the United States and hope to be five
or six by the end of the year," says Orton.
Orton went to Hunter College, Class of 1972, New York, earned a
in biochemistry at Wagner College, and studied medicine at the
of Brussels. After several years of teaching high school and college
biology, he went into the shipping industry, following in his late
father’s footsteps. "I guess I loved world trade," says Orton.
"I still got to use my expertise in science. I worked as director
of marine transportation for a number of years with a fertilizer
in New York, booking shipments and selling fertilizers." He has
been with this company for 13 years.
The ups and downs of this business are dependent on monetary changes,
fuel prices, and global economic changes. Particularly unpredictable
are shifts in pricing, as when a client is not successful from a
destination forcing the carrier to change business strategies. But
he loves his work. "It’s an opportunity to do business worldwide
and meet lots of people."
12 Roszel Road, Box 8858, Princeton 08543-8858. Shyam S. Sethi,
president. 609-497-1040; fax, 609-497-9154.
Shyam Sethi, a supply chain management consultant, has ended a five
year association with Dechert-Hampe and moved from Research Park.
The son of a lawyer, Sethi went to the Berla Institute of Technology
in Bihar, India, to study mechanical engineering. At the University
of Wisconsin in Madison, he did research on industrial engineering
operations and spent 10 years at Drake Sheahan/Stewart Dougall in
Manhattan, where he was vice president.
In 1980 he set up his own consulting group, Distribution Management
Associates, in Scotch Plains, moving to Princeton in 1988. He and
merged, and the merger lasted five years. Dechert Hampe is based in
Mission Viejo, California, and has offices in Connecticut and
It does consulting in the logistics of distribution, both
"As of February we decided to go our own way," Sethi says.
Sethi has temporary quarters in Roszel Road at the office of Creative
Business Decisions but also has a post office box.
His clients are Fortune 100 companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Mars,
CVS, KB Toys, Corning USA, and two of the largest retail firms in
Columbia. He and his wife live in Bridgewater with their two
Street, CN 5297, Princeton 08543-5297. Robert A. Davies III,
chairman and CEO. 609-683-5900; fax, 609-497-7177. Home page:
With the just-completed purchase of USA Detergents Inc., Church &
Dwight — makers of Arm & Hammer brand products — expects to
manufacture $400 million in laundry products annually and be the third
largest manufacturer in this industry. USA Detergents has 463
employees at 1735 Jersey Avenue in North Brunswick. Founded in 1988,
USA Detergents went public in 1995, expanded in 1996, and was listed
as among Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing small public
Church & Dwight has also announced that it intends to buy
Carter-Wallace’s consumer division (including the Trojan condom and
Arrid deodorant brands) for $739 million. Carter-Wallace’s drug and
tests unit would be sold to MedPointe Capital Partners for $408
million. Carter-Wallace used to have a condom factory in Trenton but
still employs about 850 people in the greater Princeton area. Church &
Dwight has about 300 employees in Princeton, including offices on
Thanet circle, and 1,400 employees worldwide.
Box 9707, Cranbury 08512-9707. 800-776-8326. Home page:
In April the catalog company closed its own fulfillment center in
Cranbury and transferred all its shipping and billing services to
a Tennessee firm, National Fulfillment. As the largest fulfillment
center in the United States, National Fulfillment serves more than
150 companies from this location: 6960 Eastgate Boulevard, Lebanon,
An article in U.S. 1 (May 16) was incorrect in saying that 85 jobs
in the Fort Dodge animal health division of American Home Products
would for sure be gone by mid 2001.
BASF (current owners of the former American Cyanamid R&D operations
on Route 1 North) did announce that it would close down its 500-person
R&D laboratory by next year.
But American Home Products still owns the 640 acre property. By next
summer it will be occupied only by AHP’s 85 employees plus livestock.
Doug Petkus of American Home Products says that no decision has been
made about the employees or the property. "The 85 AHP researchers
in Fort Dodge animal health division will continue their jobs without
interruption," says Petkus.
co-founded Mettler Instrument Corp.
Superior Court Judge.
administrative assistant at Veterinary Learning Systems Co. Inc.
environmental technician at such firms as Harding Lawson, ABB, and
Princeton University Plasma PHysics Laboratory.
200, Lawrenceville 08648. Carl J. Thompson, general manager.
No sooner had Carl J. Thompson opened an office for Advanced
TelCom Group on Quakerbridge Road than ATG decided not to continue
to fund this market. Thompson flirted with the idea of continuing
to work in New Jersey under his own umbrella, as Mercer
but has taken a position with ATG as general manager of the Stamford
and Westchester market. Formerly with AT&T and Lucent Technologies,
Thompson is an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame and has an
MBA from the University of Chicago.
ATG is a facilities-based integrated communications provider that
offers one-stop shopping to underserved middle-sized business markets.
A competitor to Verizon, it leases fiberoptic networks to deliver
all its services. "We were having difficulty building on our
in New Jersey because of the lack of fiber — we couldn’t get our
arms around enough of it — and we didn’t think we could deliver
proper service," says Gene Sokol, vice president marketing
at the company’s headquarters in Santa Rosa, California. "In some
areas it was not available. In some cases, they had promised the fiber
there, but when we arrived, it had not been laid."
08540. Steve Lam.
World PCS has closed its 10-person 4,000-foot office at Princeton
Commerce Center. PCS was founded by the World Communications Group,
a Hazlet firm that sold wireless voice and Internet access
equipment systems to China and other developing countries (U.S. 1,
August 11, 1999). Steve Lam was in charge of the Princeton office,
but the company president was located in Atlanta.
PCS stands for Personal Communications Services and is a second
digital technology suitable for college campuses or third world
Called wireless local loop, it is used for the "last mile"
or "local loop," because it links the major telephone
base station to the home. But wireless PCS phones could range only
one-half mile from a transmitter or base station, as opposed to
phones with a very wide range and signals that can be transmitted
by towers up to 3 miles apart.
Businees Week Online reports a "rash of bankruptcies" among
similar local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) companies, in
part because "getting a clean line of site from transmitters has
proved problematic in cities." The magazine points to the trend
to the more powerful fixed wireless technology, Multichannel
Distribution System (MMDS), which offers inexpensive Internet and
phone service within a 30-square-mile radius of a powerful
08512. 609-409-2832; fax, 609-409-4380. Home page:
This company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing down,
both here at this 40-person warehouse, and at its headquarters in
Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago). The reported reason for the
was an SEC investigation into stock fraud. It billed itself as
solution for voice, video, datapower and security systems.
Corrections or additions?
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