Baltimore Business Journal: Former Morgan Stanley exec launches firm to help prevent pro athletes from going broke

March 23, 2020

By Holden Wilen

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A former Morgan Stanley banker from Baltimore recently launched a business aimed at helping professional athletes and entertainers make better financial decisions so they do not go broke.

Drew Hawkins, who founded and headed Morgan Stanley’s sports and entertainment group, officially launched his company Edyoucore Sports and Entertainment ahead of the NFL Draft last week. He has an impressive list of people working with him including former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, former NBA player Antoine Walker and Kevin Anderson, the former athletic director for the University of Maryland.

A number of professional athletes have famously struggled with their finances despite making millions of dollars. ESPN featured Walker, who filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, in a documentary about athletes who lost their millions. Edyoucore provides two services aimed at helping more athletes avoid becoming the subject of future documentaries.

The company does not invest assets. Instead, its programs help athletes learn about finance so they can make their own decisions.

“Our focus is educate, equip and empower athletes and entertainers to make better decisions,” Hawkins said. “We don’t manage money or invest. We don’t sell products. We’re not agents. We’re here to educate them and put them in a better position.”

One of Edyoucore’s primary services is a financial education program called “Playbook for Success.” The program provides individual athletes and entertainers, as well as groups such as student-athletes, college athletic programs, professional leagues/teams and talent agencies with financial lessons they were not taught in school.

Scott or Walker or someone else from Edyoucore goes to a university or team and does an hour-long, interactive session that goes over various financial topics. At the end of the session the athletes are given access to a digital program where they can work through 45 different modules to learn more about finances.

Edyoucore also provides consulting services to help athletes run their own businesses and vet potential investments. The company is currently located in Pasadena where Hawkins lives, with plans to relocate to Baltimore in the next few months.

“Often they are approached by family members and friends to invest in different things,” Hawkins said. “They often make a decision quickly or have somebody else look at these things who aren’t the best qualified. We’re able to help them. Not to say yes or no but to give you all the information we’ve found. We give you the pros and cons and allow you to make a more informed decision.”

Hawkins first became involved in helping athletes when he met the wife of a then-Philadelphia Eagles football player at a fundraising event for Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt. He met with the player to talk about finances and the player answered every question with, “Ask my agent.”

Hawkins told the player one day he will not have an agent anymore and he should have known all of the answers like the back of his hand.

“That was the start of my foray to working with athletes and entertainers,” Hawkins said. “For me it’s just continued to be a nail in my claw that we continue to read about these stories on a nonstop basis.”

He ended up founding the sports and entertainment at Morgan Stanley and led it for five years before leaving the financial giant in November 2017. Hawkins had worked at the company for 28 years. After taking some time off, he decided to start Edyoucore.

Scott became involved because he had done consulting work with Hawkins in the past.

“He made good money and good decisions about how he handled his business affairs,” Hawkins said of Scott. “He also has a passion for helping individuals.”

Hawkins and Smith, the former Maryland athletics director, met three years ago when Hawkins was doing some work with the athletics department. Smith decided Edyoucore would be a good way to utilize his experience so he joined as a senior adviser.

Hawkins met Walker through an agent. Walker has been telling his own story as a way to motivate younger athletes to get their finances in order.

Donald Dell, a former sports agent who represented Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, is a senior adviser for the company. Mitch Horan, who has more than 30 years of financial industry experience including stints at Blackrock and Morgan Stanley, is director of consulting services.

Edyoucore already has several “major universities” signed up and one professional team. Hawkins said he hopes to finalize agreements with teams soon.