Corrections or additions?
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
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 PrincetonResources.com 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
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
Pennington 08534. Scott R. Carpenter. 609-730-1100; fax, 609-730-1425.
West Windsor 08550. Joseph Rumley, regional marketing director. 609-936-1306;
fax, 609-936-1307. Home page: www.intrepidcapital.net
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."
130, Building C, Suite C-1, Cranbury 08512. Rick Miller, executive
director. 609-860-5870; fax, 609-860-5873. Home page: www.abc.org
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
08608. Michael S. Simon, resident counsel. 609-278-2500; fax, 609-695-5911.
Home page: www.jacobydonner.com
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.
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
08638. David M. Nugent, manager. 609-695-6485; fax, 609-695-8897.
Home page: www.trentonprinting.com
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.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.