Meet the Business Manager Setting NBA Players Up for Financial Success
Imagine signing a contract for the NBA in your early 20s. You’ve never even had a credit card, and yet here you are making $7.7 million dollars. Who do you turn to for financial guidance? Meet Reggie Jackson, first vice president of Capital Advisors Consulting—a firm that provides business and financial management and consultation to professional athletes.
Although he started his career in banking, Jackson has now been advising NBA players for the last four years through Capital Advisors Consulting on how to maintain their earned wealth. For players whose careers tend to last about 4.5 years on average, having someone like Jackson is imperative—especially this year.
“It’s definitely been tough. It’s been a unique year in the sense that, normally, I would see my guys more frequently than I’ve been able to with the pandemic. You know, everybody was under stay-at-home orders, and we all had to stay home for an extended period of time. And generally, I would be going to see my guys, going over their financial reports, let them know how much they’re spending, how their net worth is increasing,” Jackson told Worth. “But with the pandemic, I haven’t been able to see guys as frequently. But in the same sense, with them not being able to do as much—well, with my guys I can speak for—it’s kind of slowed down their spending in a way…You hate to say that something like this, like a pandemic, has been good, but in terms of just the actual financial aspect of it, [my] guys are doing well. They weren’t able to spend for those three months.”
When players received a 25 percent pay cut earlier this year, Capital Advisors Consulting took one, too, as a sign of solidarity.
“It wouldn’t have been fair, in my opinion, to charge the guys what we always charge,” Jackson says. “So, we’ve been doing different things to kind of make sure that one, we stay afloat as a business, and also, with our fiduciary responsibility, we do the best thing for our clients as well…I feel like your reputation [as a firm] is kind of built on the good work and how you care for your players. So that’s always at the forefront of our minds.”
What’s also important at a time like this is planning for long-term success and stability. When asked about this, Jackson recalled a time in his 20s when someone asked him to consider how financially prepared he might be in his 40s, if he wasn’t yet thinking that far ahead. This consideration for advanced financial preparedness comes across in his work with his clients.
“We always have a one-year budget for our guys, and then we also have a budget based on their contract. A lot of times guys are on four-year, five-year deals. So, we’ll have a budget for each year, as their income continues to increase. And we always show, ‘hey, this is what you’re actually spending, and this is what we recommend. If you can cut back in certain areas and lean a little bit more to where we’re recommending you spend, those limits, then this is where you’ll be in a long-term kind of viewer perspective.’ So that’s how we manage them long-term, and it’s just a matter of continuing to put the information in front of the guys to show them what they’re on track [for] or who they’re on track to be in the future.”
But what about what Jackson wants for himself in the long-term? The 29-year-old is already a highly accomplished business and finance manager for his players, something he became involved with after his close friend John Wall made it big in the NBA. But what does Jackson hope to accomplish ultimately?
“My ultimate goal would be to have multiple players that I’ve managed from their rookie seasons, all the way until they retire and they’re hopefully going into the Hall of Fame,” Jackson says. “And continuing to grow and inspire other young Black individuals that maybe couldn’t have made it to the NBA, because I always wanted to make it to the NBA, but I ended up being like 5’9”, and my best friend [John Wall] is 6’4”. We were [on] the same high school team, he just ended up being a little bit better than me, so he went to the NBA, was their number one pick, and, you know, I was delegated to doing the business side of things. But I just want to continue to inspire people that look just like me, or just young people in general, that wanted to get into this business, because we always see [players] dribbling the basketball or doing things like that, but you don’t see many people like myself actually on the business side, handling their finances, or, you know, like a Rich Paul, being the actual agent and things of that nature. So, I’m doing it right now what my dream and my ultimate career goal is, it’s just a matter of continuing to grow within that realm, and becoming a bigger presence in this space and in this industry, I think, is my true goal.”