In 1975, he decided to put his beliefs into practice by starting Kanaly Trust Co., which combined independent trust-company services with fee-only financial planning and investment management. Kanaly started the company on a small budget, with just himself and another person who doubled as a secretary and a planner.

Then, as he recalls, Steve called him one day and asked, "Do you think they'll ever be room for me?" Deane Kanaly says this surprised him, because he and his wife, Virginia, never set out to have their sons involved in the business. "I just never thought about it. We kind of raised our sons to be self-sufficient to be on their own," Kanaly says. "I found in my experience of working with families that too often, too many people tried to make dependents or associates out of their children."

Even though he didn't have an extra position budgeted, he finally decided to hire Steve. "I stewed on it and decided that it probably wouldn't hurt him to get a little experience, even if it didn't work," he says.

But work it did, as the company was successful early in attracting wealthy clients-many of them oil executives-in the Houston area. Over the next few years, Jerry and Drew were hired when they "just showed up" after graduating college, Deane Kanaly says.

Steve Kanaly says, ironically, that his father's devotion to teaching his children independence is probably what led him and his brothers to Kanaly Trust Co. He cites an education program his father started with his three sons one Sunday afternoon, when Steve was 12 years old.

Deane Kanaly told his sons he would give them an allowance in return for doing household chores, such as mowing and weeding the lawn. Steve got $10 a month, Jeff got $7 and Drew got $5.

But another condition of getting the allowance was that they had to divide the money four ways: for personal savings and expenses, gifts and a church or a charity of their choosing.

How much they gave to each was up to them. His father said, "Life is not all about making money," Steve recalls. "We're not religious fanatics, just normal religious people, and he explained to us that God had shared everything with us, and it was our responsibility to share with those not as fortunate."

They were children, and family members still laugh when they remember how Jeff, at first, refused to give any money to the church. After finally relenting, he picked out change from the collection plate. "He said God had everything, and he figured he wouldn't miss it," Steve Kanaly says, adding wryly, "he rose to be our CFO very quickly."

The brothers, however, note they did stick to the agreement. All three brothers worked odd jobs during and a short time after college. Steve, for example, was a construction worker and managed apartment buildings, and he hired Jeff there as a maintenance worker.

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