New in Town

Contracts Awarded

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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 12, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

On the Move

While most professionals have a work life spanning four

or more decades, many of Scott Carpenter’s clients pull in a salary

for an average of just four years. Carpenter, through his company,

Pro:act Financial Services, is a financial advisor to pop stars and

pro athletes.

Declining to name names, he says, "I have a Knick. I have a Yankee.

I have some Giants coming onboard." But what he would really like

is a Jet. "That’s my team," he says, dismissing the Jets’

season-ending trouncing by the Raiders with a fair-minded shrug. "They

played a better game; they deserved to win," he says of the Oakland


A New Jersey native who grew up in Edison, just north of the state’s

invisible New York/Philadelphia sports team divide, Carpenter’s loyalties

lie with the New York teams, but his clients come from around the

country. His "biggest success" in 2002 was signing the Giving

Back Fund, a Boston-based non-profit that encourages philanthropy

within the entertainment and sports industries.

Founded just last year Pro:act recently made a big move. It traded

its start-up space, leased from at 245 Nassau

Street, to what Carpenter characterizes as "triple the space."

The new Pennington office appeals to him not only because it is larger,

but also because it is closer to his home in Hopewell, where he lives

with his wife, Felice, and their two children, a five-year-old son

and a six-year-old daughter.

Halfway to his goal of signing on 50 clients, Carpenter, age 38, says

"I don’t want to be all things to all people. I don’t want to

be a millionaire from this. I want to be home for dinner with my family."

He and Felice met when they were eight-years-old. "I played Little

League with her brother," says Carpenter. "She was best friends

with my twin sister." By the time he was in junior high school,

Carpenter had moved with his family to Plano, Texas. When he was 18,

and a student at Texas Christian University, Felice went south for

a visit with his sister. "We had always had crushes on each other,"

he says in an interview not long before Valentine’s Day. When they

met again in Texas, "the sparks just flew," he recalls.

A business major, Carpenter worked in the medical industry

in Texas for a short time after graduating from college, but soon

moved to New Jersey, where he started on an MBA at Rutgers and went

to work for Merrill Lynch’s private client group. From there he went

to PaineWebber, and along the way earned a certificate in financial

planning from Fairleigh Dickinson. He was on the verge of starting

an entertainment and sports division there when the company merged

into USB Warburg.

At that point, disillusioned with the culture of large investment

houses, or "wire houses," as he calls them, Carpenter went

out on his own. During his years at PaineWebber and Merrill Lynch,

his typical workday stretched from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and, he says,

the house took 60 percent of his fees, leaving him, and financial

advisors like him, on a constant hunt for more clients so that they

could create enough volume to make a good amount of money. He says

that client service suffered because of the time that had to be devoted

to rainmaking.

Now he is working with the clients he most wants to work with, and

can afford to take on fewer of them.

His clients are different from your garden variety multi-millionaires.

"They have to manage so many emotions and responsibilities,"

he says. "So much is thrown at them at such a young age."

He begins with a thorough interview during which he goes over the

entirety of each young athlete or rock star’s financial life —

wills, disability, life insurance, investments, debts, contracts.

"I do a whole big due diligence," he says. "I help them

clean up credit, obtain credit, buy homes, negotiate contracts. I

see guys cut, and go through that with them." The investments

he recommends, for the most part, are conservative. "The money

has to last a lifetime, if they don’t want to work after they finish,"

he says. A pro athlete may work for four, or six years, maybe for

10 or more if he is exceptional, and exceptionally lucky. A pop star

typically has a short run, too, although some entertainers — he

points to soap stars as an example — may pull down a paycheck

for as long as the average postal worker.

In every case, his clients’ career paths are precarious. An injury

can end a linebacker’s earning years, and a plot twist can sent a

soap star to an early career grave. Mindful of the responsibility

that watching over actors’ and athletes’ assets brings, Carpenter

says that the spate of recent corporate scandals gives young stars

a greater level of comfort with his unaffiliated start-up like his

than they have with the big wire houses.

Driving home from a meeting with an agent in Virginia, a meeting which,

he says, netted him five new clients, Carpenter proclaims that he

loves his work. Unlike the Jets, who were undone by a bigger, higher-profile

team, Carpenter and his start-up appear to be thriving in the shadows

of the giants in the financial advice business.

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

Pro:act Financial Services, 18 North Main Street,

Pennington 08534. Scott R. Carpenter. 609-730-1100; fax, 609-730-1425.

E-mail: Home page:

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New in Town

Intrepid Capital Management, 22231 Heather Drive,

West Windsor 08550. Joseph Rumley, regional marketing director. 609-936-1306;

fax, 609-936-1307. Home page:

Joseph Rumley has opened a regional office for a portfolio management

firm and now does selling and marketing from New Jersey to Maine.

The company was founded by a father and son team, Mark and Forrest

Travis, and has $500 million under management. It manages on both

a wholesale and retail basis for pension plans and high net worth

individuals. Three of its products were recently added to the Select

Advisor Program of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. Located in Jacksonville,

Intrepid Capital Management recently merged with Investment Counsel

Company of Orlando.

"Even in a tough market, where investors are panicking, our small

cap accounts posted an extraordinary performance of 9.9 percent for

the year," says Rumley. He compares this to the Russell 2000 index,

which shows comparable accounts being down 20.48 percent for the year.

"We are in the top one percent of investment managers for small

cap accounts. Our style is conservative and value based." He says

his firm manages a total of 10 products, and that the equity selection

process is proprietary.

Rumley had spent three years in Eastern Europe doing humanitarian

work, such as writing proposals for orphanages and soup kitchens.

He worked with Lawrenceville-based Humanitarian Organization for Eastern

Europe to arrange for aid for former Soviet-bloc nations. Until 2000

Rumley was working on a volunteer basis for that organization. "Our

goal was not to raise money from individuals but to engage in business

endeavors that would raise money." For instance, he worked on

IT solutions for the Y2k problem and on projects developed by scientists

in the former Soviet Union. "Our goal is to donate 20 percent

of the profits to the humanitarian efforts."

The son of an international marketing consultant, Rumley went to the

University of Central Florida, Class of 1996, and has lived in Australia,

Guatemala, Israel, and Poland, where he met his wife. "If you

go abroad and get perspective from all parts of the world, that can

help you clarify what you do with the rest of your life," says

Rumley, who used his for-profit jobs to fund his volunteer work in

Poland. "I am still actively involved in whatever I can do to

contribute to the humanitarian effort."

Associated Builders and Contractors, 2525 Route

130, Building C, Suite C-1, Cranbury 08512. Rick Miller, executive

director. 609-860-5870; fax, 609-860-5873. Home page:

The New Jersey chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, a trade

association made up of non-residential builders, has opened a new

office in Cranbury. This move is a consolidation for the trade group.

"We had two offices, one southern, one northern," says Rick

Miller, executive director of the organization. A resident of Willingboro,

he had been working from an office in Moorestown. The other office

had been in Fairfield. The consolidation was made with an eye to giving

the group a unified voice.

Miller, a graduate of Temple University (Class of 1962), has been

with Associated Builders and Contractors for 30 years. A physical

education major and football quarterback in college, he received training

in association management, at least in part, in the Marines, where

he was a promotion manager.

Associated Builders and Contractors has 280 member companies in New

Jersey, and, says Miller, is aiming to enroll 400. The biggest issue

for the organization is the Project Labor Agreement. Passed into law

last summer, it requires all New Jersey school building projects to

employ only union labor. Miller says this mandate drastically reduces

the number of firms willing to bid on school construction projects,

while, at the same time, significantly raising the construction costs,

and as a result, property taxes. The organization plans to fight the

legislation in the courts. he says, "we’re looking for a test


Jacoby Donner PC, 441 East State Street, Trenton

08608. Michael S. Simon, resident counsel. 609-278-2500; fax, 609-695-5911.

Home page:

Michael S. Simon has opened a Trenton office of the construction law

firm based in Philadelphia, Jacoby Donner PC. Simon currently serves

as the co-chairman of the construction and public contracts section

of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He is a member of the New

Jersey, New York, and Federal bars, focusing on construction law and

alternative dispute resolution procedures.

Simon grew up in Maplewood, where his family had a novelties manufacturing

business, and he has two grown children and two school-age children,

adopted from Paraguay and Guatemala. He majored in building sciences

at Rensselaer Polytechnic, Class of 1963, and University of Maryland

School of Law. "A substantial part of my practice is in arbitration

and mediation, either representing clients or serving as an arbitrator

or mediator," says Simon.

Bruce Demeter, Simon’s former partner at Simon & Demeter, is now an

associate in risk control division for engineering and construction

of XL Insurance in Pennsylvania.

Top Of Page
Contracts Awarded

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton

University, James Forrestal Campus, Box 451, Princeton 08543-0451.

Robert J. Goldston, director. 609-243-2000; fax, 609-243-2751. Home


Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory may have a role in the construction

and operation of an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

(ITERP), a magnetic fusion project. The United States had withdrawn

from this project in 1998 but will now rejoin scientists in Canada,

Japan, China, the European Union and the Russian Federation. PPPL

might build control systems, diagnostics, and/or super-conducting


Trenton Printing, 1150 Southard Street, Trenton

08638. David M. Nugent, manager. 609-695-6485; fax, 609-695-8897.

Home page:

The printing company received a $287,400 direct loan from the EDA

to buy plate-making equipment. The six-year loan was made at an initial

interest rate of three percent, to be adjusted quarterly. The company

lost 90 percent of its equipment when a transformer blew up. "That

forces us to rethink our business strategy and move ahead quickly,"

says David Nugent. The loan enables Trenton Printing to stay in New

Jersey. Now it has digital equipment that eliminates the need for

film and the use of chemicals. Established in 1929 and purchased in

1999, Trenton Printing is a full-service commercial printer and is

a union shop.

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