In tiny Batesville, Indiana, an industrial giant is rising from the bones of the dead.
If you know the name Hillenbrand (HI), you have my sympathies. For years the company was a leader in funeral products through its Batesville casket line. It's a good, steady business, with few risks of recalls on shoddy products. But it's not a growing business, especially given the growing appetite for cremation.
So, outgoing CEO Ray Hillenbrand, the casket man, allowed his company to be transformed by F. Joseph Loughrey, a former executive with Cummins Engine who was seeking a new challenge. Loughrey in turn has transformed Hillenbrand into an industrial equipment company with little shareholder risk and high potential rewards.