In tune with fiscal needs Suite
Adviser hangs up dancing shoes to tango with cost-conscious clients Escape
BY BETH FITZGERALD My last meal would
DAVID GRAY STARTED out teaching ballet dancers how to manage their precarious finances. include:
Now, after spending a decade running ballet and theater companies, he’s gone back to finan-
cial planning, where his clients include conventional work- Mark Juliano
ing people facing something like artist’s angst: zero job CEO, Trump
security and wages that fluctuate. Entertainment
Gray left his post as executive director of the New Brunswick Cultural Center — opera- Resorts Inc.
tor of the State Theatre and George Street Playhouse — and launched Finance Arts, in
Princeton. He lives in the town with his wife, ballerina Kyra Nichols — who retired in 2007 A great bowl of pasta,
after 33 years at New York City Ballet — and their sons, Joe, 13, and Cameron, 8. Dover sole and a glass
Striking out solo to launch a new business during a recession was a calculated risk: of ‘82 Haut Brion.
Gray predicts rising demand for objective financial advice. People have lost money in
the market, watched home values plummet
Gray at a glance and don’t know if they’ll need to change
jobs — or even careers — a few times before Metro New York area
DAVID GRAY, 50, was executive di- the day they retire, assuming that day ever chief operating ofﬁcer,
rector from 2004 to 2009 of the New comes. Gray is a fee-only financial adviser Skanska
Brunswick Cultural Center, home of affiliated with the national Garrett Planning With any luck,
George Street Playhouse, the State Network, whose members aren’t paid com- I won’t know.
Theatre and Crossroads, and was missions for steering clients to a financial
executive director of the American institution’s products.
Repertory Ballet from 2001 to 2004. “A lot of financial planning literature is Gil Medina
He has given nancial advice to geared to people with secure, lifetime jobs and Executive managing
dancers and other performing art- a pension,” Gray said — a world that’s disap- director, Cushman &
ists, worked in book publishing and pearing. “I would argue that in every profes- Wakeﬁeld of New Jersey
has ghostwritten a children’s book. sion, people are going to be outsourced and
Rice and beans.
His new book, on nonpro t cash freelanced and hired on a project-by-project
ow, will be published in the fall. basis.”
“The fun part of the job is really He advises people to manage their
nancial education — giving people the money with an eye to the likelihood of peaks
skills to do things for themselves. I’ve and valleys in their earning power. “We can
been working in and around the nonprof- still be consumers, but