Five Minutes with Morgan Stanley's Drew Hawkins

Financial concerns might seem like the last thing movie stars and professional athletes have to worry about with their multimillion-dollar paychecks.

But Drew Hawkins, managing director and head of global sports and entertainment for Morgan Stanley, said the finances of NFL quarterbacks and A-list actors are actually quite complicated.


Hawkins saw such a need to help this group manage money that about three years ago he convinced the New York-based financial giant to start a division targeting that market. The decision proved lucrative. Today, the division boasts $35 billion in assets under management and employs 80 directors around the country.

Athletes and entertainers have to think about investing and financial planning differently than those with conventional 9-to-5 jobs, Hawkins said. Fluctuating careers mean unpredictable incomes. A television network may cancel a low-rated sitcom and the paycheck disappears. Changes in the music industry with the advent of the internet and music streaming made it harder for pop stars to earn money.


"If you go from having $5 million in CD sales to nothing, you may have some lifestyle changes you're going to have to make," he said.

Hawkins, who lives in Pasadena and works out of his firm's Washington office, helps his clients navigate these difficulties and protect their financial security.

Education is a large part of the investment package for these clients, and includes firsthand stories of financial hardship from former athletes, Hawkins said. Some of the clients come from poor families with no experience dealing with large amounts of money and feel pressure to take care of family members.

Hawkins sees opportunity to expand the sports and entertainment business.

"I think we have just scratched the surface here," Hawkins said. "The opportunity is to truly build this out."

Always looking for new growth opportunities might be what helped Hawkins climb the ladder at Morgan Stanley, where he started as an unpaid intern in 1987 at predecessor company Dean Witter while attending the University of Delaware. He was hired as a financial adviser in 1989 after graduating and has held various positions, including becoming the company's first black managing director.

With each new job, he set a goal to expand his division and make it better.

"I was fortunate that I could get substantial things done that were recognized and then became a candidate for other opportunities that became available," Hawkins said.


He likes to say that he works in a career that he has "no business being a part of." He grew up in what he describes as a lower-middle class family in Catonsville. His first job was as a boat hand.

He still loves the water and now entertains friends aboard his own boat each summer.

He has made it his personal responsibility to get minorities interested in investing and working in the field.

"This is the most exciting job a person can have," he said.


Drew Hawkins

The Evening Sun

The Evening Sun


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Position: Managing director of global sports and entertainment for Morgan Stanley

Age: 49

Hometown: Catonsville

Residence: Pasadena

Education: Mount Saint Joseph High School, University of Delaware


Family: Divorced; no children

Hobbies: Boating, fishing, cooking, entertaining