What does a professional athlete do when he or she graduates college with the competitive juices still flowing? For some people, the answer is to pursue a career in the finance industry.
With an increasing amount of graduates in general heading into the finance industry after graduation, the athletic department is seeing the same. Brian Tompkins, former head coach of Yale’s men’s soccer team and current senior associate athletic director, admitted that there is an evident trend for varsity athletes in particular to pursue jobs in finance and banking.
Being a team player is an important skill to many investment firms, so having played on a team sport will give individuals an advantage on cultivating this skill. Others also believe that athletes have proven discipline and work ethic, since many had to balance their academics and practice schedules during school.
The following individuals have proven that athletes can also be successful bankers:
Thom Weisel – Founder of Montgomery Securities
Thom Weisel has a long history of leadership in investment banking and was one of the pioneers in the development of the Silicon Valley tech boom. For most of his career, he has been active in professional sports (skiing and cycling) as a board member, investor, and participant. Over the last several decades, he also founded two investment banks that brought several companies public in the healthcare, technology, and financial industries.
David Robinson – Co-Founder of Admiral Capital Group
David Robinson’s unique experience includes being a former officer in the U.S. Navy and an NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs. He dove into private equity in 2007 when he founded Admiral Capital Group, which focuses on providing financial expertise, investment capital, and strategic business development. Its portfolio is worth more than $100 million, including upscale hotels and office buildings across the U.S.
Detlef Shrempf – Partner at Coldstream Capital Management
Detlef Shrempf, a native of Germany, spent most of his basketball career in the Pacific Northwest as a Seattle Supersonic. Since joining Bellevue-based Coldstream Capital in 2007, the three-time NBA All-Star is focused on business development initiatives.
Gary Fencik – Partner and head of business development at Adams Street Partners
Former Chicago Bears safety Gary Fencik was a member of one of the most dominant defenses the NFL has ever seen. After his football career, Fencik worked in the finance industry. After getting some experience with Wells Fargo and UBS, he joined Adams Street Partners in 1995.