The NFL Players Association is naming UBS as one of its “institutional financial advisors,” helping current and former athletes avoid the pitfalls of sudden wealth.
Members of the NFLPA will benefit from the advice, which will run through the firms’ Athletes and Entertainers Group.
Wale Ogunleye, the head of the Athletes and Entertainers Client Segment, is himself a former NFL player with stints on the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. He stressed the new program would make sure clients have the guidance they need to prepare for their post-NFL careers.
“As a former member of the NFLPA, I’ve seen what happens when players make questionable financial decisions or listen to poor advice,” Ogunleye said.
The NFLPA was established in 1956, and in 1993, was named the group representing players after a pause for several years. In 2020, the union negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the NFL that is set to run through 2030.
UBS advisors will work with the current and former pro players dealing with planning-related issues including sudden wealth, complex contracts, family financial dynamics and other concerns particular to the challenges newly-famous pro players face. Young recruits into the league are often particularly vulnerable to scams and inappropriate investment recommendations, being flush with a sometimes-unprecedented amount of new wealth.
Starting in 2017, the NFLPA mandated player advisors must hold either the CFA or CFP certifications. Two years later, the union offered players access to advisors from a number of financial institutions, with Morgan Stanley most recently coming onboard in August 2020.
Additional firms with the designation include Alliance Bernstein, Bessemer Trust and Goldman Sachs, according to an NFLPA spokesperson.