NFL veteran Wale Ogunleye traded in the locker room for the boardroom when he became head of UBS’s Athletes and Entertainers Client Segment. With the former pro-bowler (who has an MBA from George Washington University) at the helm, the division has launched two initiatives to help students of all ages develop money smarts. Ogunleye joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the importance of financial literacy.
At the college level, the big bank is partnering with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), which includes 14 colleges and universities, 13 of which are historically Black schools, to provide financial literacy curriculum and information about careers in finance.
Ogunleye knows first hand there's a need for such a partnership. “As a former athlete I have experienced it. I met a financial advisor and they spoke in jargon and they assumed that because I had all this money that I should ... understand the things that they were saying … Finance and money are a different language," he said.
“That confusion leads the men and women who are in the locker room — you know, they’re, Alpha’s, they’re leaders — and sometimes [they're] too embarrassed to say, ‘You know what? I didn’t understand a word you just said,’ ... And that’s how we get ourselves in trouble,” he added.
One of Ogunleye’s goals is to help young athletes prepare for their financial future. “We understand that you might not fully grasp what money is, and let’s take you through the process. Let’s hold your hand, let’s become partners. Let’s not be fans of our athletes and entertainers, but let’s actually be strategic partners in teaching how you should manage and, and make sure that the hard work that you’ve done on the field on the stage or on the court lasts for generations to come,” he said.
For the younger set, UBS's other initiative will sponsor 2,000 students through the Goalsetter Foundation.
When it comes to teaching children about financial literacy, Ogunleye and youth-focused financial platform Goalsetter believe that the time is now to help children get on the track to becoming financially sound adults.
“Goalsetter is an amazing initiative where they’re trying to get 1 million Black and LatinX young adults bank accounts. And that studies show that kids who have opened up bank accounts are six times more likely to go to college and have four times more of a chance that they’ll invest as adults. So we know that if we’re going to try as a community to slim down the wealth gap, now’s the time for us to help in that initiative.”
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.