• Wealth Management

Build a Dream Team for Your Career

Assembling a team of trusted professionals to manage your career—and your money—is essential to help put you in the best position to thrive. Here’s how to do it.

CEOs can’t run business empires on their own. Often, it’s only when chief executives look to their boards of directors, company veterans and trusted C-suite advisors that they make better decisions for their company. 

Your financial life as a professional athlete or entertainer isn’t all that different. Assembling a team of trusted professionals to manage your career—and your money—is essential to help put you in the best position to thrive.

We asked Financial Advisors from Morgan Stanley’s specialized Global Sports & Entertainment division for their insights on picking the right people for your team. Here are three key questions they helped us answer:

1. How Do You Identify the Roles That You Need?

Your Financial Advisor is a central player on your team. Many pro athletes and entertainers earn a high income over a relatively short period of time, and that income often must last a lifetime. A “you only live once” attitude may lead to spending mistakes that can leave you short on funds in the future.

A Financial Advisor can assist in building out a financial plan and investment strategy customized to your needs and goals, and can help you create a budget and allocate your income according to your plan.

Your needs are unique. Pro athletes tend to have significantly shorter careers than the general working population. The average career length for an NFL player, for example, is less than three years.1 Trusting the wrong people, handing out too much money to family or friends, overspending and not saving for life after your pro career ends are among many rookie financial mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

A team of financial professionals can help. Key roles in your professional C-suite can include your Chief Financial Officer (Financial Advisor and accountant), Chief Marketing Officer (agent) and Chief Legal Officer (attorney). These people help ensure your money, legal risks and career opportunities are well managed. Depending on your needs, a Chief Operating Officer (business manager) or Chief Advertising Officer (publicist) may be useful as well.

2. How Do You Pick the Right People for Those Roles?

Finding a trusted Financial Advisor or lawyer isn’t always a quick and simple process. But it’s well worth investing the time.

Some of the best candidates may come from word-of-mouth referrals from industry colleagues and acquaintances. You can ask coaches, advisors, teammates or fellow professionals how they picked their team and if they are working with people they would recommend. Be sure to collect multiple names from multiple sources. Then do your own research to whittle down the list based on who meets your specific needs. Relevant experience, specializations and a positive track record are all important criteria.

If you are able to, interview several potential choices and check additional references. This due diligence helps you understand what you like and don’t like, and helps you get to know them before you bring them on board. 

3. How Do You Keep Your Team on Track and Evaluate Their Performance?

A well-managed career can’t run on autopilot alone. Check in with your team of advisors on a regular basis. You may want a quarterly meeting with your Financial Advisor or much more frequent contact with people who have a more active role in your business.

Each part of your team should have a quantifiable, numeric measure for success. If they have a stake in your success, they are even more motivated to help you protect and grow your wealth. Long-term relationships help build trust and reinforce the win-win attitude CEOs look to instill in their own teams.

Build Your Professional Dream Team

You have that something extra, the star quality, the intangibles that put you on top in fiercely competitive industries. You already have the vision, but you may need the plan. Your distinct needs inspired the creation of Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment.

Our Financial Advisors are Sports and Entertainment Directors, chosen for their advanced experience working within very specific fields. Learn more and connect with a Global Sports & Entertainment Director near you.