(Bloomberg) -- The NFL Players Association has chosen Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG to act as a financial adviser to the union’s members.
The association had been looking for someone to fill that role since 2019, but the process was delayed as it sought to make sure it was complying with Securities and Exchange Commission rules, the NFLPA said. Players won’t be required to use UBS’s service, but will have the opportunity to do so through their team’s union representative.
A key factor in choosing UBS was its commitment to diversity, Dana Shuler, senior director of the NFLPA’s player-affairs department, said in a video interview.
With African Americans making up about 75% of the league’s players, “it is important for them to be able to select an institution that not only understands working with professionals, but is committed to diversity as well,” Shuler said.
Wale Ogunleye, head of UBS’s sports and entertainment business and a former NFL player, said he knew from personal experience that most dealings with financial advisers were “all transactional. It was about how much money I had and how much I was going to invest.”
Ogunleye wants to change that by giving “players an understanding why they do some of the things they do,” he said in an interview. “We’re going to be finding plans that make sure that their finances are able to sustain their lifestyle for generations to come.”
The partnership is one of the first agreements the union has struck since LLoyd Howell took over as executive director this year. Howell spent more than three decades at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, most recently as chief financial officer.
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