UBS senior portfolio manager Jason Katz has no minimum — but he’s outright picky. When it comes to prized high-profile athletes and famous entertainers — his client niche — the welcome mat isn’t out for everyone.
“We have a ‘no-jerk’ policy. I turn down very large opportunities all the time if I think that, from a value, integrity or communication perspective, we’re not going to hit it off,” Katz, a managing director, tells ThinkAdvisor in an interview.
With a roster of sports and entertainment stars, plus behind-the-scenes showbiz clients, the 17-member Katz Wealth Management, based in Midtown Manhattan, has $2.8 billion in assets under management. Typical account size ranges from $5 million to $15 million.
Katz, New York State’s top high-net-worth advisor for 2019, according to Forbes, helps both established and up-and-comer clients manage finances and invest to make their money last throughout their often long post-career retirement years.
Baseball, football and basketball players, together with younger entertainers, are in serious need of getting financially literate. Katz, 49, helps provide that by presenting players with a “game plan” of four possible scenarios to determine their appropriate financial path.
He became an advisor 27 years ago right after graduation from Boston University. Except for a short stint at Oppenheimer, he has been with UBS and its predecessor PaineWebber — where he trained — his entire career.
Katz built his practice largely via seminars, then by pursuing centers of influence distinctive to athletes and entertainment-industry people.
Recently, he signed a new pop artist, age 23.
“We want to grow with these [young] people and manage their wealth over the years,” he says. “In my industry, there’s no reason to retire if you enjoy what you’re doing. It’s not like I’ll turn 65, and I’m done.”
Here are highlights of our interview:
THINKADVISOR: Do you ever turn down athletes and entertainment industry people who want to work with you?
JASON KATZ: Absolutely. If you’re a jerk, it doesn’t matter how high-profile you are or what you do in life. We have a no-jerk policy.
Do famous athletes ever refuse to take your advice?
Despite our counsel of “Hey, you might not be here for the long run,” a client bought a home in the city in which he played, and enhanced and renovated it in a unique way: He built a barbershop and a bowling alley in it. Sure enough, he was traded. He had a difficult time reselling the house and got nowhere near the money he put into it.
Have you a minimum account size?
No. I have a minimum in terms of the quality of the client: I want to deal with transparent, fair, reasonable people. They don’t always have to be in a good mood, or nice. But they need to be open-minded, and we need to be able to communicate.
What’s a problem celebrities have concerning their money?