Richer After Retirement: David Robinson Launched Private-Equity Funds Worth Multi-Billion Dollars

Richer After Retirement: David Robinson Launched Private-Equity Funds Worth Multi-Billion Dollars


A legendary player at court can be a better investor.

Every role player can earn a substantial salary in the NBA. The league’s most prominent talents can earn $100 million in just a few seasons. Unfortunately, a large salary often results in an extravagant lifestyle. 

This may be acceptable while the athlete is still playing, but when the money runs out and no more paychecks are flowing in, there will be problems. Sixty percent of athletes are estimated to become bankrupt within five years of retirement. 

Some athletes and guys like Hall-of-Famer David Robinson have defied these odds. David, whose moniker is “The Admiral” due to his graduation from The Naval Academy, made a lot of money during his playing days; now that he’s retired, he’s made even more.

In 2007, Robinson founded Admiral Capital, a real estate-focused firm. It raised approximately $115 million and acquired assets worth $350 million; the organization has received $50 million from the United Services Automobile Association and $15 million from the Texas Teacher Retirement System.

Admiral Capital has sold seven of its original investments, garnering investors a 24 percent return on their initial investment. In 2015, Admiral Capital Real Estate Fund 2 was established with $50 million in committed capital and the ultimate aim of raising $175 million. Robinson and former Goldman Sachs investment financier Dan Bassichis have partnered to establish both funds.

David and Dan announced the rebranding of Admiral Capital Group to Vero Capital in November 2022. When their rebranding, David and Dan disclosed that their funds had deployed more than $700 million in capital in transactions valued at more than $3 billion.

David Robinson’s current net worth is $200 million. Throughout his NBA tenure, he earned roughly $119 million in salary. In other words, David’s net worth has increased by three to four times his NBA career earnings since his retirement.

David also announced that he was stepping away from the fund’s day-to-day operations to focus solely on its philanthropic endeavors regarding their charitable endeavors. David Robinson intends to do some good with the proceeds of his fund, and he has pledged from the start to donate 10% of profits to support low-income communities and education. 

Robinson has always used his position and influence to give back; in 2001, he founded and financed the $9 million Carver Academy in San Antonio, a non-profit private school designed to give inner-city children more opportunities. In 2012, Carver Academy changed its name to IDEA Carver and became a public charter school. 

Robinson was unsatisfied with founding the school; he remains active in its daily operations. Over 14 seasons with the Spurs, Robinson averaged 21.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and three blocks per game. 

He never earned more than $14.8 million in a single season. Still, he was a perennial All-Star who won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 1995 and two NBA championships in 1999 and 2003. And suppose anyone ever asks you to name the only player who has ever tallied 70 points in a game and recorded a quadruple-double. In that case, you can confidently respond, “David Robinson.”

He also served as a mentor to Tim Duncan, who joined the team in 1997. It’s uncommon for a star veteran to embrace another potential star as unabashedly as Robinson did. Still, it’s not so surprising when you consider everything he’s done for others.

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