From sports star to wealth manager

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With so many top sports stars commanding multi-million dollar salaries, it's perhaps not overly surprising that banks, including Swedish and Nordic ones among them, actively woo former players to sit on the other side of the table to act as wealth management and private banking relationship managers.

Six-times Grand Slam-winning tennis player Stefan Edberg, who won an estimated $20m during an illustrious sporting career, is now part-owner and board member of Stockholm-based investment company Case Asset Management, according to Bloomberg.

The fund manages SEK5bn and in January Edberg launched a new Nordic corporate bond fund called Safe Play, which manages SEK750m.

He's not the only Swedish sports star to make the transition into financial services, with private banking and wealth management one of the most popular destinations. Most are chosen for their connections to wealthy athletes rather than their investment prowess, though.

Former triple world champion and Olympic cross-country skiing bronze medallist Per Elofsson now works for Swedbank as head of private banking services for athletes.

DnB Nor board vice-chairman Bjorn Sund led the development team for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and Anette Norberg, an actuary at Folksam Group in Stockholm is also an Olympic-level curler, having won gold at both the 2010 Vancouver and 2006 Turin winter games.

Outside the Nordics, US investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners last year hired former Canadian Olympic athlete Michael Smith as a managing director within its private client services division.

Finally, while Edberg's fairly sober public image as a tennis player clearly did him no harm when it came to switching direction, you'd be wrong to assume private banking only attracts what might be term the more "sensible" category of celebrity.

As well as sports personalities, successful musicians appear to like the idea of having their money managed by like-minded people, as former Guns 'N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has used to his advantage.

After a successful career with the hell-raising US rockers, a medical emergency (an exploding pancreas) forced him to re-evaluate his direction in life and move into portfolio management, eventually co-founding wealth management firm Meridian Rock.

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