Tony Parker knows how to pivot.
Last week, the NBA All-Star announced his retirement from an 18-year career spent mostly at the San Antonio Spurs, where, as point guard, he drove the team to four championships. This week, he joined the Minneapolis-based financial planning firm NorthRock Partners as president of its sports, artists and entertainment division.
“At age 19, I had to find my own lawyer, tax guy and financial planner,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “I want to help athletes and entertainers benefit from my experience.”
NorthRock, which also has offices in Seattle and New York City, will add a San Antonio office for Parker.
NorthRock’s founding partner Rob Nelson described Parker, 37, as “one of the most prepared athletes I’ve ever met.”
“He’s well-read and entrepreneurial,” Nelson said. “We anticipate doubling the size of our [sports and entertainment] business with Tony in a leadership role.”
Nelson was instrumental in starting the company’s division for athletes and entertainers. Although NorthRock is far from the only financial planning firm to recruit athletes as clients or employees, it’s a rarity in the Twin Cities, he said.
In 2017, the firm hired former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brooks Bollinger as one of its advisers. The company works with nearly 50 clients in pro sports and has a strong relationship with Timberwolves and the Vikings.
Athletes often want a firm such as NorthRock to manage all the resources in their lives -- cash flow, banking, insurance, investments, charitable contributions, foundation management and contract work. It can even expand into brand management, social media and career counseling.
“Tony has lived all of this, and we wanted a partner who can evolve our business,” Nelson said.
Unlike Bollinger, who is a financial planner, Parker won’t advise clients personally but will take part in the advisory meetings. “I bring credibility and peace of mind,” Parker said. “The athletes know I don’t need their money. I have my own.”
Parker was raised in France and was once married to actress and producer Eva Longoria. He played for the Spurs from 2001 to 2018 and ended his career with the Charlotte Hornets this year. He also owns and is president of ASVEL, a professional men’s and women’s basketball club in France.
NorthRock started in Minneapolis 26 years ago and currently oversees $1.5 billion in assets.
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633
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