Cat Trail is an investment company serving the Dekker family.
Cat Trail was founded by David Dekker after Marcel Dekker, Inc. was acquired at the end of 2003. Marcel Dekker, Inc. (Dekker) was a scientific/technological/medical (STM) publishing company founded by David and Russell’s father, Marcel Dekker, in 1964. Prior, Marcel worked in marketing and sales for the publishing firm, Interscience, which was founded by Marcel’s father, Maurits Dekker, and Eric Proskauer in 1947. Interscience merged with John Wiley & Sons in 1963, becoming Wiley-Interscience.
Like Interscience before it, Marcel Dekker, Inc. prospered, transforming into a mid-sized global STM publisher. In 1997, Marcel Dekker retained his Chairman title but vacated the Presidency, passing the company’s leadership to his two sons, Russell Dekker as Chief Publishing Officer and David Dekker as Chief Operating Officer.
At the time, technology and the internet were posing both opportunities and challenges for traditional publishers. With new leadership, the company embraced the digital challenges by building a strong web presence, a new brand image, pioneering in-house content management, and directly publishing material in real time to the web and syndication partners. Crossroads Media, a separate company owned by David and Russell Dekker, also purchased Achorn Graphics (Achorn) in 1998, a typesetter which had developed a unique technology to render STM content on the web. Achorn became well-regarded doing all production work for Dekker as well as for other STM publishers such as Elsevier, Kluwer, Springer, Wiley, and McGraw-Hill. Achorn was sold in 2001 to SPI Graphics, a company financed by Tommy Lee Partners.
In 2003, Dekker’s Board of Directors agreed to sell Dekker to the Taylor & Francis Group, plc (T&F). Dekker’s American base and digital activism made it an especially good fit with the more English and print-centric T&F. Russell and David worked for T&F, honoring their required employment contracts, but left soon after to establish new ventures. Now well established and with better resources, Cat Trail has become a full service investment boutique for the Dekker family.