After his 2005 career-ending concussion, Wayne Chrebet knew he needed some diversion to stay busy. He invested in racehorses, opened a restaurant in Hempstead, NY called "Bar Social," and picked up boxing. Still, though, he felt like something was missing. Wayne needed some occupational passion in his life, and he also needed to avoid his wife, who was considering murdering him.
"She told me, 'You've got to get out of the house or we're going to get divorced,'" Mr. Chrebet said. "We got to the point during those first couple years where we were going to 10 a.m. movies and stuff. And we were like, 'This is stupid.' We'd just look at each other."
Before he was forced to retire from football, he'd taken a liking to managing his own money, become a "self-professed CNBC junkie" and dabbled in advising his teammates in how to maximize their coin. So he figured, maybe I should get a job on Wall Street? And as luck would have it, he'd recently killed Morgan Stanley VP Ed Moldaver during a couple poker games at the local country club. Moldaver was so impressed with Chrebs that he offered him a gig, where he currently works on a 6-man wealth management team, mostly "meeting with potential clients and determining whether his group is a good fit for them" while leaving the stock and bond picking to "the professionals." He loves the new career and takes it "very seriously," though it's not just dicking around and at times can be brutal. In fact, he almost didn't even make it.
For three months during the fall of 2008, Chrebet co-opted a conference room at the Morgan Stanley building here on Broad Street and studied eight hours a day for his brokerage and securities licenses. He worked from two monstrous books and took practice test after practice test. He had spent 11 seasons sacrificing his body as a wide receiver with the Jets, but this was a challenge of a different sort.
"I'd rather get punched in the face 10 times than study for those tests again," Mr. Chrebet said over lunch this month.