Drafting a Professional Sports Credit Union

Hall Associates Consulting, LLC has been retained to help charter a new federal credit union focused on the professional sports industry. In addition to traditional financial services, the planned Players Choice FCU will provide financial literacy and wealth counseling to active and retired professional athletes and their families.

In 2009 Sports Illustrated reported that 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress due to joblessness or divorce by the time they’ve been retired for two years. About 60 percent of NBA players become broke within five years of retirement, and MLB players have similar issues, it reported. Helping active players manage their wealth from the start, and helping retired athlete get on a stable financial footing will be key elements of the credit union’s focus.

Hall Named to DOE Energy Efficiency Financing Working Group

W. Robert Hall has been named to a Department of Energy working group focused on spurring private sector financing of residential and commercial energy efficiency improvements. The mission of the Financing Solutions Working Group for the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) is to provide responsive financing instruments and mechanisms (loans, leases, and power and service agreements) that support widespread adoption of energy efficiency technologies in the United States.

The working group recognizes that effective financing is a vital tool that can encourage implementation of energy efficiencies by strengthening the value proposition of investments consumers consider making in energy conservation.

The Financing Solutions Working Group has established its primary focus on the residential energy efficiency sector because it:

Represents a huge untapped market with needs for substantial physical improvements while being one of the least efficient capital markets

Uses well-understood credit evaluation criteria (FICO score, debt/income ratios) that make financing more straightforward than in some other markets

Employs a standard set of energy efficiency measures that rely on well-established technology (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, building shell measures).

The working group has established a secondary focus on the commercial sector, which:

Similarly requires huge physical improvements but has traditionally encountered multiple barriers to financing related to borrower creditworthiness and reluctance to take on debt

Generates larger deal sizes as a whole than residential markets, which can be of greater interest to financial markets since large projects are often more capital-efficient than many small residential projects

Requires huge capital improvements.

The Financing Solutions Working Group has identified three pillars that frame its proposed approach:

Develop a better understanding of the financing needs of financial institutions and customers

Develop toolkits that include data and analysis for utilities, government entities, and financial institutions interested in supporting financing products for energy efficiency

Develop more robust data on loan performance that will assist utilities, financial institutions, and others in developing and offering financing products for the residential (and commercial) sectors at attractive rates and terms.