What You Need to Know
- Merrill Lynch and the College for Financial Planning joined forces to create and launch the new sports and entertainment designation program for advisors.program.
- The College is offering the program exclusively to Merrill advisors through May 2022.
- Athletes and other celebrities have often been taken advantage of by unscrupulous advisors and crooks claiming to be advisors.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the College for Financial Planning have launched a new designation program for wealth advisors serving the specialized financial needs of professionals in the sports and entertainment sectors.
The Sports & Entertainment Accredited Wealth Management Advisor program is the first professional designation from an accredited college that is designed to provide advisors with the training and knowledge to help high-net-worth clients “grow, preserve, and transfer their wealth,” Merrill and the College said in a statement Monday.
In recognition for Merrill’s collaboration on the design of the new program, the College is offering it exclusively to Merrill advisors through May 2022.
Also, in conjunction with the program’s introduction, Merrill says it has created an internal Sports and Entertainment group to better support advisors who focus on clients in these industries.
Problems for Pro Athletes, Other Stars
The financial challenges faced by individuals and families who experience sudden wealth in the sports and entertainment industries are well documented.
Citing the book “F.L.A.G (Fraud, Lies & Greed): Cautionary Tales of How Professional Athletes Become the Victims of Fraud,” Merrill and the College say 80% of National Football League players and 60% of National Basketball Association players face bankruptcy or serious financial stress within two years of retiring from those sports league, while Major League Baseball players are four times more likely to file for bankruptcy than the national average.
Pro athletes and other celebrities have also often been taken advantage of by financial advisors and brokers, as well as people claiming to be advisors and brokers.
For example, the former advisor of 2021 NBA Hall of Fame inductee Tim Duncan was sentenced to a four-year prison sentence in 2017 for defrauding his client. Duncan filed a $1 million lawsuit against Banks in federal court in 2015, arguing in a court document that the advisor had committed “egregious breaches of his trust.”