Disclosing business venture to firm

Hi all, this should be a bit different than most posts on the topic of starting one's own venture, but I'm curious on people's thoughts here:

I'm a life-long musician getting back into it for the first time in about 5 years. In a past life I played guitar in a DIY hardcore-punk band, did some touring, made a go at it on a very small DIY scale. It was a blast, but then I grew up and went back to college and am now working in Corp fin at a super regional bank.

Recently I've started playing again, and am currently sitting on a 10-song album of pure pop gold. I've never written, recorded, or released pop music, but with a business mind set and a great team on our side, my band is ramping up for a big release. Pretty big budget production/mix/master, videos, shows, merch, the whole nine yards. As we prepare to release and build this thing up, I'm starting to wonder the ramifications with my employer.

The band is registered as an LLC and has a bank account, may someday have its own credit, etc. Right now the band has been completely funded by contributions from myself and my band mate (two piece). The project hasn't really released yet, and isn't bringing in any revenue (just burning cash), but should this thing bite the way our team is thinking/hoping, there will be money flowing in and out on various projects.

Outside of taking some phone calls and shooting around emails from my phone while at work, there is no interference with my day job but I'm a little concerned what could happen if we take off in any way. I haven't disclosed any of the band to my management or to HR, and I'm wondering in your opinions: should I? What are your thoughts on handling this with my bank? I don't want anyone to question my ability to perform my job, or to think I'm half-assing my work, but I also don't want to unnecessarily disclose thing thing to anyone and open up the possibility for my employer to terminate me...

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Comments (9)

Aug 20, 2019 - 8:32pm

I probably wouldn't say shit.

Sounds exciting -

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Aug 20, 2019 - 8:40pm

I would recommend you say nothing, I don't understand how this would need to disclosed to firm. Isn't this a personal business venture doesn't realistically have anything to do with them beside to pursue your interest. You know they are totally start grilling you. I would say nothing and talk to a lawyer too.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"
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Aug 21, 2019 - 1:56pm

Jesus fuck on every thread the people who don't work in banking give bad advice....

Talk to a lawyer first, I would be super cautious about any outside business activity and it is extremely likely that you would have to disclose at least, if not obtain pre-approval. For example an excerpt from our firm's Compliance manual says "obtain prior approval for any relevant outside affiliation you undertake, whether or not you are currently compensated, or have the expectation of being compensated (monetary or otherwise)."

This includes "directorships, trusteeships, employment outside the firm, consultancies, civic activities (!), ongoing or significant publication arrangements, external remunerations, board seats (including not for profit)."

Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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Aug 22, 2019 - 9:01am

Thank you for the reply. My bank's employment agreement had language very similar to that, although I cannot remember the verbiage specifically without pulling up a copy. It's language like this that makes me hesitant to not get pre-approval, but you're right, a lawyer is probably my safest next step.

Its pretty ridiculous to live in a world where a serious but non-conflicting hobby could potentially lead to termination. I'm 99.9% positive that there is no over-lap between "The 1975"-esq pop music and banking, but I digress.

Now to talk to a lawyer...

Aug 22, 2019 - 2:54pm

There isn't an overlap but I wouldn't bet my career on the bank's interpretation.

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
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Aug 22, 2019 - 7:18pm

It's safe to assume that any regulated financial institution, size-agnostic, requires disclosure of OBA in almost all scenarios.

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Aug 23, 2019 - 3:00pm
Synergy_or_Syzygy:

Jesus fuck on every thread the people who don't work in banking give bad advice....

Talk to a lawyer first, I would be super cautious about any outside business activity and it is extremely likely that you would have to disclose at least, if not obtain pre-approval. For example an excerpt from our firm's Compliance manual says "obtain prior approval for any relevant outside affiliation you undertake, whether or not you are currently compensated, or have the expectation of being compensated (monetary or otherwise)."

This includes "directorships, trusteeships, employment outside the firm, consultancies, civic activities (!), ongoing or significant publication arrangements, external remunerations, board seats (including not for profit)."

Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer.

This is correct. Just drop it in as a new line on your annual compliance check-in where you disclose outside business activities. as long as you disclose it, and it's non-competitive, my bank would be fine with it and nobody in your group would even hear about it.

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:29pm

Find a good, reputable attorney who had dealt with these situations before. I would proceed to make a decision from there. If you are able to find the original documents prior to the meeting, that would help the attorney a lot. No one knows what disclosures you signed with your current employer except for you.

Besides that, nice! When I worked in tech, some of my coworkers (engineers) did this and released a few albums/toured and the company allowed it. These people were fun to hang around with during company events, and the department meetings usually were questions about their songs release dates!

Good luck!

No pain no game.

Aug 23, 2019 - 2:37pm
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