att Rappaport ’09 can now say he knows what it’s like to the win the lottery.
As an Austin, Texas-based financial adviser with UBS, one of the largest managers of private wealth in the world, Rappaport received a referral last year from an estate planning attorney who knew a multimillion-dollar jackpot winner in need of help.
“One of the great aspects of serving this particular client was being able to help them go through the process of claiming a winning lottery ticket,” he said. “People don’t always think of a financial adviser performing that kind of function, but I recognized that was an area where I could provide value.”
Rappaport familiarized himself with the fine points of claiming a lottery prize, then contacted the Texas Lottery Commission about keeping the win anonymous. Doing so didn’t require disguises or meeting in the dead of night—he and his client simply walked in as if it were a normal day.
“You just have to keep a low profile,” he said. “It’s a state-run agency in a state building, so there are people there all the time. It’s not really a furtive exercise to claim a winning ticket. You can be as public about it as you want. Not too many people want to be.
“Of course, the client likes to relish in the win and see the large check.”
In his previous role as a patent litigation attorney for the trial firm McKool Smith, Rappaport’s job entailed drilling deep into the technology at hand. That focus often meant far less involvement in overall strategy and direction for his cases.
He decided in 2018 to make a change. “I really wanted to find a business where I could use all my skills and abilities,” he said.
In addition to his J.D., Rappaport holds a bachelor’s from UVA in electrical engineering, with minors in physics and astronomy. He earned a master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida.
At the start of his career, he worked for a satellite communications company, where he independently created novel satellite communication protocols. As Rappaport coordinated with the patent attorney at the company, he realized that he had a greater interest in the law and helping clients, even as his inventions resulted in the issuance of multiple U.S. patents.
“That gives me a very different background than most people in finance,” he said.
Rappaport’s diverse pool of clients, who reside all over the country, include members of the Austin-area tech industry.
“When anyone comes into a large sum of life-changing money, they need help to reevaluate what it is they want to achieve with their lives, and what it is they really care about,” he said.
Whether the money is a product of luck or hard work, he notes, “No matter who you are, these are all going to be the same kinds of questions.”