Following a successful career in football — both as a player and an agent — Raymond James advisor Leo Goeas journeyed back home to join his brother in the wealth management business.
Goeas was born and raised in Honolulu. From an early age, he thrived in both athletics and academics. The youngest of eight children, he followed two of his older brothers to the University of Hawaii, where he received a full football scholarship and studied economics.
Goeas' life changed dramatically when he was recruited by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He went on to enjoy an impressive NFL career as an offensive lineman: three years with the Chargers and four with the Rams (two in Los Angeles and another two with the franchise after it moved to St. Louis) before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
"After football, I was trying to decide what to do with myself," Goeas says. "I was 31 or 32 at the time, and football was the biggest thing that I had committed to over the last 20 years of my life."
Goeas ended up working for the agency that represented him as a professional athlete, and became licensed as a certified NFL agent in 2003—a license he still holds. While Goeas was working as an agent, his brother Larry, an advisor, mentioned he needed help with his business. Larry had served as Goeas' advisor while he was in the NFL.
"Things were expanding [for Larry] pretty quickly, and I was looking for a way to get home," Goeas says. "Once I decided and my wife was on board with [us] making the move after being away from Hawaii for 20 years, that conversation between Larry and me sped up really fast."
Goeas officially moved back to Hawaii in January of 2010. After passing his Series 7 and 66, he signed on with his brother's practice at Stifel that April. Their $1 billion team jumped to Raymond James this February.
"Having been an investor for many years when I was playing football and post-NFL, I always had a great appreciation for what Larry did," says Goeas. "It's been very rewarding working alongside him, learning from him."
Goeas says one of the biggest challenges of coming back home was reinventing his personal brand as an advisor when many still recognized him as an athlete and agent. "I'm currently going after some designations to basically let people know I'm serious about this and willing to put in the extra work to show them that this is my full-time gig," Goeas says. He still works part-time as an agent but is not currently recruiting new players.
He says one of the biggest lessons he learned during his time in the NFL was the importance of teamwork; joining his brother's business required him to assume specific roles and own them in a way that was familiar to his time playing football.
"In the NFL, being a team player is about having the team and the goals of the team in mind. Often, they trump everything else. There are days here where we have to put in very long hours," says Goeas. "We have to do whatever we can to get it done for the client. We want our clients to love working with us. And I think that's something we accomplish. But that's something that's not given; you earn it over time."
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