SportsJam with Doug Doyle: Michael Bapis, Managing Director of Vios Advisors

Oct 16, 2019

Michael Bapis, a former golfer at the University of Utah, is now a leading financial advisor for top professional athletes and entertainers
Credit Joe Favorito for WBGO News

Michael Bapis has used his sports background to help him give financial advice to many professional athletes and entertainers.  He's the Managing Director for Vios Advisors, the wealth management firm that is part of Rockefeller Capital Management. Vios Advisors specializes in working with high-net-worth individuals and families, preserving and optimizing their wealth.

As Head of Sports & Entertainment for Vios-Rockefeller Capital Management, Bapis has gained the trust of not only his clients but the business world, appearing on many financial-related television programs on a regular basis.

Bapis, who played golf at the University of Utah and then basketball at the American College of Greece in the mid 90's, sat down with SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about his career and the financial outlook for today's athletes.

Michael Bapis appears on many financial-related television shows giving expert investment advice
Credit CNBC

Bapis says 80 percent of NFL players go broke within the first three years of retirement 60 percent of NBA players file for bankruptcy in five years of retirement.

Bapis admits those are alarming numbers.

"It comes down to surrounding yourself with the right advisors and the right people, with people who are there for you and don't want anything from you."

The financial expert says there's a strong need to educate athletes at the high school, college and professional levels about how to manage their money and put their trust in someone who truly has his or her best interest in mind. 

Michael Bapis has great respect for sports stars Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan because they made people around them better
Credit Vios Advisors

"We do a program where we work with  Fordham.  They have a program set up for professional athletes where they can get their MBA.  It's an executive MBA.  It's over four years.  We had some of them in the room and they said something interesting to me.  'I want someone who has money and doesn't need me to make them rich.'  That put it into a little bit of perspective for me that they were around people who that thought now that this guy made it, or this lady made it, I'm going to make it too because they're going to make me rich."

Bapis says rising stars in the sports and entertainment world, have to fend off those who are looking to siphon money from them. 

"Friends come out of the woodworks, it just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  What we try to do is put a structure in place where we call it the arc of a career.  Initially, we set up very conservatively, put a savings account together, put financial planning in place and then as they make it through their career then we do more sophisticated planning.  Lastly, the day they begin playing or acting, let's say what are you going to be doing in retirement.  Because the longevity of sports is a 10=12 year career, max maybe 15 if you get lucky.  Acting is a little bit longer but it's a similar story.  What's your retirement plan?  And so, getting that in their mind is an important part of what we do for the future."

Click above to hear more about Michael Bapis' sports days in Utah and Greece as well as how his family has impacted his decision-making, philanthropy and path to success.