Show me the money!


Who will ever forget Cuba Gooding Jr. jumping around his kitchen imploring Tom Cruise to:


It was 1996 and athletes were signing huge contracts, Michael Jordan eclipsed $50million in 1996 and the Lakers hired Shaq for $25million. Mike Tyson made $75million for three fights in ‘96.

Mind boggling sums at the time.

Having spent the last 30 years representing some of our industry’s top teams I can hear that “show me the money” refrain in my sleep. I remember one FA telling me “I want my share of the bull market”. Gordon Gecko was in jail but his “greed is good” mantra was alive and well.

Upfront signing bonuses had gone from 30% to 50% to 100% in the 90’s.
Free Agency had finally reached the financial services industry.

Thousands of financial advisors became multi millionaires as recruiting deals and deferred comp programs broke records, and then broke those records. Athletes now sign $400 Million + contracts. (See Patrick Mahomes and Mike Trout)

Free Agency deals in financial services have also eclipsed 9 figures as financial advisors built and sold businesses for more than $100million. (see Luminous and Constellation and Bel Air Capital deals)

If you are a top decile Financial Advisor today , and you have managed your personal finances prudently, you likely have many millions in marketable securities and deferred comp. It is almost common that I represent FAs with net worths measured in Tens of millions. A former OpCo colleague of mine , the top broker at the firm every year, now has his name adorning the on-campus arena at our alma mater. (See Finneran Pavilion on Villanova’s campus). Thirty years of smart stock picking and shrewd personal investing bought Bill immortality.

But just like every boom time is inevitably followed by gloom time, a global plague showed up, and the music stopped…

People started dying fast horrible deaths, all playing out on TV.

COVID changed everything.

Quarantining at home changed everything.
Working remotely changed everything.

The updated mantra should be:


Advisors want warm weather. They want open spaces. They want low tax states. And they are willing to move. Everything has changed. Money no longer matters like it used to.

FAs want to protect their health and their families’ health. They want to convert their vacation homes into their permanent homes, with Zoom theaters and private gyms.

They want to be close to their kids and grandkids, now more than ever.

And they want to shape their personal legacies, name buildings at their alma maters. If a recruiter doesn’t understand how COVID has changed people’s mindsets they haven’t been paying attention.

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