Professional athletes are among the most coveted clients for advisors – and present unique financial challenges that those athletes are typically ill-equipped to handle themselves. Paul Franklin leveraged his role as a high-school football coach to pursue a career serving those clients.

Franklin is a third-generation advisor with a passion for sports. He is a former college baseball player, high school football player and is in his 10th year as a high school football coach. That background led him to expand the family financial planning and advisory firm to the niche market of NFL, MLB and NBA players.

Franklin is principal of Washington, DC- based Franklin Capital Strategies and coordinates planning efforts for the firm’s clients in areas such as investments, risk management and estate planning. The firm serves small businesses, entrepreneurs and, most notably, professional athletes throughout the country. I interviewed Franklin by phone on April 17 to learn more about his growing advisory business serving professional athletes.

Transitioning the family firm

Before Franklin entered the financial services business he was regularly traveling the country attending coaching clinics at some of the top football universities. In addition, he was attending NFL scouting combines, week-long showcases where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers and scouts, allowing them to evaluate upcoming prospects in a standardized setting.

Franklin transitioned from being a three-sport private high school coach and fundraiser to a career in financial services. He joined his family’s firm in 2009. Franklin started reading about the high percentages of players being led down the wrong financial path and going broke, and felt like he had a natural fit serving that market. Franklin decided to both expand the firm’s services to offer financial counseling to professional athletes and to open an office in the DC area where he resided, rather than continue commuting to the Cleveland home office.