“It’s a strange feeling to, all of the sudden, realize you can buy just about whatever you want,” says Tilley, who played for the Blues in the late 1980s and early ’90s.
What’s lost on many young players is that those big paychecks are often short-lived, Tilley says. And once the playing days are over, finding a new career can be extremely difficult.
“Your resume is so different than everyone else’s,” he says. “Someone has to understand how the various skills that got you to the highest level as an athlete can translate into the business world with some coaching and training.”
Tilley has made it work. Today, he lives in the Kansas City area and serves as the managing partner for DVS Group, a boutique investment bank. Tilley also helps other athletes manage their finances through his service on the board of Krilogy Financial, a growing St. Louis financial advisory firm.
“Athletes’ financial management advice is unique because they are often faced with significant financial decisions at a young age—decisions that their friends and family cannot relate to or provide much help with,” says Patrick Monahan, senior financial advisor at Krilogy.
Founded in 2009, Krilogy has 28 employees and two office locations. Krilogy’s clientele includes business owners, families, physicians, and executives. The company also has two financial advisors, including Monahan, who advise current and former professional athletes from baseball, hockey, football, and golf.
Monahan says athletes need individually tailored advice, which often extends all the way to finding living arrangements for athletes.
“A common example we face with many athletes we serve is whether
they should buy a home or rent,” Monahan says. “We help them run through the scenarios and factor in length of contract in their current city, the likelihood of a trade, and the condition of the real estate market. This helps them make a more educated decision about investing in a home.”
Central to Krilogy’s work with athletes is establishing financial plans that will manage and preserve their wealth for decades to come. The company also helps players make smooth transitions into their post-athletic careers, such as Tilley was able to accomplish.
When Tilley’s 12-year hockey career was nearing its end, he chose to spend his off seasons learning about sales while working in the team’s front office.
With this experience, he moved into corporate America and later joined DVS Group. He hasn’t looked back.
“I make twice as much money as my best earning year in the NHL,” he says.