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Exclusive Interview: Doug Whaley on Protecting Sports Wealth with WSA

Walker Sports Audit [WSA] is an independent audit service that autonomously evaluates its client’s entire portfolio of endorsements, contracts, investments, compliance, and tax reporting. WSA also evaluates and rates all of its client’s financial relationships, especially with their agents, lawyers, accountants, coaches, doctors, trainers, advisors, family, and friends.

Last week, we had a chance to speak with Doug Whaley, WSA Board Member and Founding Partner, to talk about his journey and how it led him to Walker Sports Audit.

Tell us about your personal journey to becoming a GM in the NFL. What were the critical steps and moments along the way?

Becoming an NFL General Manager was a lot of work. It required a lot of listening, surrounding myself with wise counsel, and picking other people's brains to have diverse thinking. Diversity of thought is critical, so you don't have a singular focus view on anything you do. That is the macro and the philosophical way I got there. The practical way is by attending growth seminars and being involved with a very successful organization, like the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Continuing your education is also essential. For example, I attended an executive Master's course that the NFL put on at Stanford. Attendee's included up-and-coming individuals on the business side and football side. We attended weekly seminars and lectures discussing real work experiences and case studies and used our different areas of expertise to develop the best solutions. So having the practical, social, and working knowledge to understand real-life situations and problem solve allowed me to achieve the goal of being a General Manager.

What attracted you to the Walker Sports Audit Mission? Why did you want to become a Founding Partner and serve on the Board of Directors?

Knowing that young players are in a position to create generational wealth is a great opportunity, especially for some men that may not have had that opportunity otherwise. But, with that opportunity comes tremendous responsibility. The issue is that they don't have the foundation of financial literacy, to help propel them to keep that wealth and make it generational. That's what we're all striving for: to set our families up and generations behind us up, to be financially independent.

What Walker Sports Audit brings to the table is that it helps people who have gained instant wealth without that financial background to protect that. I always equate it to one of the reasons that the older you get, you should take a physical every year to get a baseline of your health. Then, if there are any egregious irregularities in a year, you can address them instead of waiting till year 10, when it becomes a full-blown problem.

So, why not do that with your financial wherewithal? We can help educate people, and education and knowledge is key—so that was the main reason for my adoption of Walker Sports Audit.

Where do you see Walker Sports Audit in five years?

In five years, I see Walker Sports Audit in two prominent positions in the ecosystem—sports and forensic accounting. In sports and people with instant wealth, it is a forensic audit and a go-to for people who want to check the people who are checking up on their financial health. Of course, everybody has a team around them to watch their financial well-being and security, but who is checking them? With Walker Sports Audit, we give them a non-biased way to have a check and balance.

Secondly, Walker Sports Audit plans to be a leader in the forensic accounting industry and provide a rating system for agents, life insurance agents, corporate attorneys, contract attorneys, and CPAs. Our team of expert CPAs and forensics accountants will provide accurate, in-depth audits to help our clients make smart financial decisions that can protect their wealth for the long-term. We will also develop a rating system to help clients choose the right service providers for their specific needs.

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