From the NFL to a Billion-Dollar Portfolio: Can You Throw a Football Far Enough to Become a Managing Director?
It’s no secret that I’m borderline obsessed with football.
If you’re across the pond, below the Equator, or “down-under,” I’m not talking about the sport where you dribble around on the pitch; I’m referring to American football.
Don’t get me wrong, I try to stay current on the news in La Liga and the Barclays Premier League (Major League Soccer is slowly being worked into the rotation – albeit begrudgingly)…
But there’s only one sport that I when I watch, I ask any chatty family or friends to keep any non-football related commentary to a minimum or to go play in traffic – cue the NFL on Fox theme music…
Given my quasi-religious devotion to American football, it should come as no surprise that I’m a fantasy football addict. I developed the habit 4 years ago and I have absolutely no intent to seek out professional help to “get clean”.
Hardcore fantasy football players know that the months of July and August are all about crafting draft strategy – which means conducting your due diligence on training camp injuries, drafted and undrafted rookies, and current team composition (trust me – it’s more fun than it sounds).
Last week, as I was face-deep in fantasy draft analysis, I had an epiphany.
Somewhere between playing a Tim Tebow drinking game with ESPN Radio and reading post-market close commentary on a couple of energy stocks, I thought to myself, “What if some of the most well-known NFL players were actually finance professionals?
And if they were, what positions would they hold and what firms would they be at?
With the 1st Pick in the Investment Banking Draft, GridIron Bank Selects…
Think about it! What if Tom Brady were a Portfolio Manager? What if Ed Reed were a Managing Director?
Does it sound a little far-fetched?
Considering that former players such as Steve Young have gone on to experience success in the private equity industry, it’s not that much of a stretch.
And then you have entertainers like Bono and Ashton Kutcher also getting involved in the investing game, further proving just how interested celebrities are in the world of finance.
But here’s the bottom-line: NFL stars can’t play football forever, and even professional athletes have post-playing career aspirations.
We can all speculate as to what they may do after football, but I’ve speculated on some professional profiles for a few of the most exciting players in football as if they had never even played the game.
You may be surprised at just how transferable the skill sets are…
Senior Vice President
Bronco Asset Management
Peyton Manning has been a stalwart figure on The Street since his analyst days at Colt Capital. He was promoted within days of joining Colt right out of college and has never looked back since.
After earning a strong reputation in the industry as one of the top young Analysts over his first two years with the firm, it was no surprise when he completely bypassed the Associate level and became one of the youngest Vice Presidents to quarterback a team exclusively devoted to high net worth sports clients.
Possessing a tireless work ethic and an incredible ability to assemble complex yet comprehensive client presentations, Peyton is what every Vice President and even Senior Vice President aspires to be: the embodiment of a leader and a winner.
A great leader, teammate, and even better spokesperson, Peyton’s sole weakness lies in his tendency, at times, to be too entrenched in his work.
After a freak keyboarding injury forced him to take some time away from the office last year, he suggested that the firm broaden its recruiting perspective – so they began to court younger, external talent to be more competitive in attracting a stronger client base.
Peyton’s injury, coupled with a tough performance year for Colt Capital, ultimately led the firm to go in a different direction and Peyton decided that it was time to move on.
After a multi-firm bidding war to acquire Manning’s services, Peyton decided to join Bronco Asset Management earlier this year and is poised to revamp its asset management division.
Although the team is relatively young and inexperienced, Peyton’s presence has had a noticeable positive impact on the entire firm.
Early internal memos have indicated that he is working around the clock to make Bronco Asset Management one of the top asset management firms this year.
Pacific New England Bank
Rob is a commodities trader for Pacific New England Bank in Boston, MA.
A once-promising football player in college, Rob decided to forego his senior season of college to pursue his growing passion and trade commodities full-time.
Nicknamed “Gronk” due to his Neanderthal-like size, demeanor, and considerable IQ, Gronkowski has established himself as a valuable member of the commodities trading team for Pacific, and as a lighthearted colleague in the office – regularly throwing keg parties on the trading floor whenever someone in the office can do more push-ups than him.
Since joining the desk 2 years ago, Rob has proven himself to be a major team player, helping to bring in more than $50 million thus far this year.
When asked about his “unique,” yet successful, approach to trading live cattle and lean hogs, Rob replied, “Gronk trade on gut! Eat goats to be strong!”
A man who expresses few words and who exercises even stranger fashion choices, Gronk often shows up to work wearing American flag branded clothing and flip-flops. When asked why he has chosen to wear such items to work, Gronk commented that it made him feel more “patriotic.”
Despite his success in the field of finance, it is rumored that Gronkowski has expressed an interest in fulfilling his childhood dream of playing professional chess. It is not clear whether or not Pacific Bank would let him walk away from his contract, should he choose to pursue this alternative career.
Eagle Investment Partners
DeSean joined Eagle Investment Partners 4 years ago after graduating from South Western Agricultural Grove University (SWAGU).
DeSean is an Associate in the media and entertainment group at Eagle Investment Partners.
As an incoming Analyst, DeSean was an exceptionally fast learner with extraordinary Microsoft Excel agility, regularly completing requests for pitch books in less than 4.4 hours.
Because of his stellar production to date, DeSean was recently promoted within the organization and offered a revised compensation package in the hope that he would remain with the firm for the foreseeable future.
When recently interviewed, Vice President Andy Reid – who heads up the group – had this to say about DeSean:
“He’s a talented young guy. He works hard and we’re just thankful to have a guy with that type of explosive ability on our team.”
Eagle Investment Partners is expected to have a great year in the media and entertainment advisory space, and part of that expectation is dependent upon Jackson’s contributions in his new role.
“I just want to do whatever it takes for our team to keep moving forward. As long as I continue to work hard and continue to be a major contributor, we’ve got a shot to lift that metaphorical Lombardi trophy before the close of Q1 next year.”
Joseph Mary Advisors (JMA)
Tim Tebow is an Analyst for Joseph Mary Advisors, a long/short equity transportation-focused hedge fund in New York City.
Tebow’s career began in 2010 when he started working at Trinity Capital in Colorado.
Upon joining Trinity Capital, Tim was expected to be highly successful after showing great promise in college. Possessing an infectious personality and a strong team-focused mentality, Tim’s greatest qualities were always thought to be greater than his actual “hard skills.”
After two tumultuous years that saw Tim struggle with basic investment analysis and presentation delivery skills, Trinity Capital decided that it would be best for Tebow to move in a different direction.
Lacking a true Analyst skill set, Tim initially struggled to catch on with a new firm following his departure from Trinity, but after a surprisingly short interview period, Joseph Mary brought Tim Tebow aboard.
JMA was one of the few firms that believed it could hone Tim’s raw abilities and help him become a more complete Analyst.
Although his arrival at the firm was met with a mixed reception, senior management was supportive of Tim coming aboard in the hope that it would create a more cohesive and cooperative team environment.
Early management reports highlight that Tim is making significant progress in his new role and is expected to be a major contributor to the team at JMA this year.
A fan of American football, Tim briefly commented on whether he’d be a fan of the New York Jets or the New York Giants now that he’s living and working in New York:
“Now that I’m living in the city, I would say that I’m a New York Jets fan,” Tim commented.
“I plan on supporting the team in any way that I can, but I highly doubt that my arrival in New York will have any impact on whether or not the Jets will have a good season.”
Exeter Jones is a philosopher trapped inside the body of a writer, trapped inside the body of an alternative investment analyst. He’s worked in investment banking and alternative investments and his favorite breakfast food is ESPN.
Break Into Investment Banking
Free Access to Exclusive Content for Members Only!
Sign up for The Banker Blueprint today and enjoy:
- Free Report: 37-page guide with the action plan you need to break into investment banking - how to tell your story, network, craft a winning resume, and dominate your interviews.
- Exclusive emailed bonus material.
- Free Banker Blueprint newsletter with more in-depth advice.
- Unlimited access to all articles, videos, and advice - and free updates whenever new content is added to the site.