Armanino Case Study
Case Study

Pro Athlete Turns to Armanino for Business Management

by Robert Abramowitz
June 22, 2020

Updated August 17, 2023

At a Glance

Customer Profile

A professional athlete turned to Armanino’s Business Management team to help manage their finances, so that they can focus on their career, maintain their lifestyle and be able to support their family through the rest of their career and into retirement. By providing the client with a detailed plan, Armanino has created a pathway for them to be financially solvent going forward.

Software & Services:


  • Improved client’s financial life sustainability
  • Identified options for risk mitigation
  • Empowered the client to be in control of financial tradeoffs
  • Provided client with improved peace of mind for their financial life post-career


Professional athletes are in a unique situation in that they make a lot of income very quickly but have a small earning window. In this case, a professional athlete came to Armanino as a client with a set of questions regarding a major asset purchase.

The athlete was well into their career and had about four or five years of earning potential from playing left. They had already developed habits and received mixed advice from previous advisors regarding post playing career planning. What the athlete needed was to get an understanding of their assets, income and spending, and how they could manage their current lifestyle to live comfortably into retirement.

But, with a client who has already solidified many of their habits, how do you collaborate with them to change the way they think about financial planning, present them with information that will resonate and then put them in a position to maintain the proposed spending budget?


The Business Management team decided the best way to do this was to assess the client’s balance sheet, all their assets and liabilities and what their future income was projected to be. This meant working with their agent and other advisors in assessing how many years they had left in their playing career, what their retirement benefits would be and what their other potential sources of income were for the rest of their life.

The athlete was still young, so they could start a new career after their current one finished. But their goal was to be able to retire at the end of their playing career.

The Armanino team started by breaking up the client’s spending into three buckets:

  • Their current spending habits
  • What their optimized spending should be for the rest of their career
  • What they could spend in retirement

When analyzing their current spending, the Armanino team realized that if the client maintained their current spending, they would have a $33 million shortfall over the rest of their life. Through a priorities-based plan, the business management experts established the client’s and the client’s family’s objectives. Once priorities were clear, Armanino worked with the athlete’s investment advisors to coordinate a liability-driven asset allocation plan to protect their assets from risks specific to their objectives. From there, Armanino constructed a plan to help the client see what appropriate risks they could pursue to help support the family objectives.

Armanino identified areas where the client could reduce spending, establish a plan to protect their assets, and maintain their desired lifestyle — or at least have time to adjust their lifestyle — in case of an economic downturn. For example, establishing proper liquidity reserves, liability, and disability insurance to provide protection in case of a catastrophic injury or event. This plan requires quarterly assessments and updates to adjust the plan as their financial and professional situations evolve.


After adjustments to their spending, the client’s financial outlook now shows a more manageable overall deficiency of $2 million, which is a significant improvement. They also identified other potential pitfalls in their financial life that could be mitigated by appropriate planning and by reducing their current and post-career spending.

There is now a structured plan in place that can be adjusted on a quarterly basis to give the client an understanding of potential risks, and perspective on any ideas about future investments or purchases and their potential impact on their financial well-being.

By our addressing the client’s initial desire to acquire a major asset, they can now see that one decision could breed further financial distress and could create financial issues in the future. However, if they want to bet on themselves and make the asset acquisition, they now understand they would be increasing their resource shortfall, post-career debt and asset carrying costs. However, the player is also aware of options to remedy the situation, such as pursuing a second career or reducing spending in other areas.

Next Steps

Going forward, the client needs to adhere to four “totems” to improve their financial life and maintain their preferred lifestyle for the remainder of their career and through retirement:

  • Managed spending
  • Liability-based portfolio allocation
  • Insurance protection and risk mitigation
  • Quarterly budget review

Despite their projected financial shortfall, and with Armanino’s help, they are within a workable range to attain lifelong financial stability, and they now see options to either pursue a second career after athletics or make other adjustments and still be able to retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

Working alongside their advisors, they need to maintain the agreed upon budget that includes reducing discretionary items to minimize post-career debt. In case of a potential economic downturn, the client needs to maintain a liability-based financial portfolio. To further mitigate risks, proper disability and liability insurance should be considered. Finally, they need to participate and execute decisions made during quarterly budget reviews with Armanino, so that they can adjust their financial plan as needed and establish accountability for themselves and their dependents.

Do You Feel Confident That Your Finances Are in Order?

Many professional athletes are busy working on achieving next-level performance, but too often their finances are neglected. For assistance with long-term preservation and growth of your net worth, contact our Business Management experts, or explore other ways athletes and entertainment professionals can overcome their financial and career challenges.

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