A few days ago I read an article on USATODAY.com titled, “Pro athletes often fumble the financial ball.” It discusses how often college athletes become instant millionaires, but squander their riches and end up broke. Is it the sense of entitlement? The hangers-on? Bad advice from athletes’ “management teams?” Not having a “management team?” Players’ association workshops and force feeding athletes information will only go so far. They have to truly want to soak the advice and use it to not only prevent bankruptcy, but escalate their wealth.
I also recently came across a fairly new start-up company called, Compass Management Group, LLC. Based in Birmingham, Michigan, and only in existence for two years now, Compass Management Group has already had the privilege of managing the careers of sixteen NFL and NBA players combined, including first round draft picks. The company holds itself out as a full-service business management firm that handles everything for their clients – from private banking and bill pay to short and long term budgeting to oversight of investment and insurance services, as well as accounting, tax planning and preparation, and pointing them in the direction of a good estate attorney for estate planning. I can think of many athletes who either are not receiving such services currently, or at least are not being served by competent individuals in those respective areas.
Compass Management Group is run by Daniel Sillman and former Arizona State University point guard Derek Glasser. Sillman was previously covered on this website based on the assistance he provided to former University of Michigan football players Brandon Graham and Brandon Minor while they were in the process of selecting their agents (they both eventually signed with Joel Segal of Lagardere Unlimited). With Compass Management Group, Sillman will still provide guidance in the agent selection process to clients who wish to obtain such a service. However, that is no longer the focus for Sillman. “When a client does have money to invest, which typically takes a year or two, we are able to set them up not with the financial advisors who wait in the tunnel after games, but with the financial advisors who manage money for team owners and billionaires,” said Kyle T. Burleson, Director of Operations & General Counsel for Compass Management Group. “We manage each client like a Fortune 500 business, with the goal of setting them up for life after sports as quickly as possible. For some that means they are financially secure for the rest of their lives, while for others, it means helping guide them into a second career. The goal is to create a lifestyle that lasts a lifetime, and we have been successful in that pursuit thus far.”
The executives at Compass Management Group promote that the hallmarks of the service they offer are experience, transparency, and access. It appears that such hallmarks would suit many pro athletes who “often fumble the financial ball” quite well. Many players who are about to hear their names called in the 2012 NFL Draft would be doing themselves some good by thinking about their management teams, starting today.
Compass Management Group boasts a very impressive client list to date. Here is a partial listing of clients:
- Terrence Austin- WR, Washington Redskins
- Andre Branch- DE/LB, entered in 2012 NFL Draft
- Jurrell Casey- DT, Tennessee Titans
- Rob Eddins- DE, Buffalo Bills
- Brandon Graham- DE, Philadelphia Eagles
- Jonas Gray- RB, entered in 2012 NFL Draft
- Manny Harris- Cleveland Cavaliers
- DeSean Jackson- WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Stafon Johnson- RB, Free Agent
- Trumaine Johnson- CB, entered in 2012 NFL Draft
- Mike Martin- DT, entered in 2012 NFL Draft
- Brandon Minor- RB, Free Agent
- Jeff Pendergraph- Indiana Pacers
- Jimmy Smith- CB, Baltimore Ravens
- Donovan Warren- CB, Chicago Bears
- Jordan Williams- F, New Jersey Nets
- Jerel Worthy- DT, entered in 2012 NFL Draft