Week of 8.22.16

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Lois Zussman Kadima Golf Classic

This annual event was newly renamed in memory of Lois Zussman, who passed away in December, 2015. Her husband of 52 years, Milt, was obviously tickled to have three generations of the family in the crowd of 200 gathered for cocktails and dinner following golf at Franklin Hills Country Club. He also smiled broadly when it was announced that David and Mark Zussman’s teams finished in first and second place among the 124 golfers. But the raison d'ętre for the event, to fundraise for Kadima’s Lois and Milton Y. Zussman Activity Center that serves those with mental health needs, was most evident during the dinner program.
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This weeks social light photos…

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Motoring around

Jason Mood and Christopher Johnson , co-owners of The Meeting House in Rochester, have partnered with James and Gino D’Agostini to open a new food truck called Motor Powered Hospitality , with the D’Agostinis bringing their business experience to the management side of the venture. Only recently delivered to the team, the food truck appeared at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac during ...more»

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oakland confidential

September 2016

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: In a year where predictions offered by political pundits are less accurate than the extended weather forecast in any given week, there is only one certainty: nothing is certain. From Donald Trump’s presidential nomination to Sen. Bernie Sander’s success in Michigan, the resulting uncertainty has many candidates on the lower portion of the November ballot worried, ...more»
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Daniel Sillman


By Lisa Brody
News Editor
Daniel Sillman
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Daniel Sillman
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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(click for larger version)
03/28/2011 - Daniel Sillman began the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan thinking he'd become an investment banker. But a chance encounter his freshman year with two Michigan football players who became his close friends led him to create Compass Management Group to provide financial management for professional athletes.

Sillman, 22, graduated from Ross in Dec. 2010, on the fast track since he had already begun his company to work with his two friends, Brandon Graham and Brandon Minor, who left U-M as top picks in Dec. 2009 to enter the NFL, and provide them with financial guidance and management once they left school.

"Statistics show that 78 percent of NFL athletes declare bankruptcy or are financially distressed within two years of retirement; it's 65 percent in the NBA within five years," Sillman said. "It's because most athletes lack core financial strength. They hire agents who negotiate their contracts and sponsorship deals, and they might hire someone to open a portfolio for them, and they think they're all set. The word financial advisor throws them. They're often coming from the inner city, and suddenly, they're coming into wealth, like a lottery winner."

While undergrads, Graham and Minor spent holidays and weekends at Sillman's Birmingham home, and Sillman and his father, David, began looking into business managers for them as their need became apparent. "What we realized is that there is a huge presence for entertainers and corporate space, but not for athletes. These athletes should treat themselves the same as someone else with wealth," Sillman said. Just as Graham and Minor had prepared themselves for the NFL by practicing football for years, Sillman realized he had been preparing himself for his career with Compass not only via his business school studies, but at the foot of his father's chair, watching, listening, observing.

"I've been going to the office with my father since I was 5," he said. "I rely on my father for life experience and financial experience."

Compass Management Group, so called because it provides direction, guidance and discipline to athletes, provides attorneys, accountants, insurance consultants, tax planning, bill paying, private banking, estate planning, portfolio management, business consulting and vetting services, and retirement planning.

"The average football career is three years; the average basketball career is four or five years. They could live to be 100. They have to realize they are being compensated for their entire lives, not just their pro careers," Sillman said. He creates a level of transparency and professionalism for the athletes, which now number 11, that he manages. All of the athletes, including Desean Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Manny Harris and Jurrell Casey, have come to him by word-of-mouth through locker rooms.

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