When Mike Mammini and his wife Elizabeth founded the Mammini Company 30 years ago, they had to cold-call for their first clients. Today, the financial services firm has grown to managing $3 billion in assets in the corporate, union and high-net-worth client spaces.
“I’d say it’s now been steady growth over the last 20 years, consistently growing the business,” Mammini Company President Mike Mammini said.
While the firm has long since moved past cold calling for clients, Mammini said it has never spent money on advertising.
“It’s a 100% referral-based business,” he said, and pointed to another business strategy that helped grow the firm: “We stayed in our lane. We know what we’re good at. We’re good at helping people prepare for retirement.”
‘A Niche Opportunity’
In its first five years, Mammini Company set out to attract clients in the corporate retirement space, setting up 401K plans but also offering insurance services.
“We more like an employee benefit shop,” Mammini said, adding that the company eventually left the insurance business to focus exclusively on corporate retirement plans.
The firm then came upon another opportunity to grow through Mammini’s father who was the union leader for the sheet metal workers union in San Francisco, who introduced him to unions in San Diego.
“At that time, nobody was doing participant education,” he said. “So whether it was educating apprentices about finances or educating people on how to invest their 401K – those really weren’t being done. I saw that as a niche opportunity for us.”
Those education meetings in San Diego eventually led to referrals in Los Angeles and then more in San Francisco and today “a large portion” of Mannini Company’s business is managing defined contributions plans, health care trust funds and general investment accounts for unions, including sheet metal workers, plumbers and Teamsters, Mammini said. “It’s across the board, but basically skilled workers.”
In addition to growing its base of union clients, Mammini has also grown a “pretty significant corporate 401K footprint” of clients in San Diego, and some more in Bay Area and a few out of state, Mammini said.
Mammini Company Investment Consultant and Mike Mammini’s son Mitch Mammini said the corporate retirement business is the area the firm is actively looking to grow.
To spur that next phase of growth, Mammini Company recently joined Commonwealth Financial Network after previously operating as a Lincoln Investments firm.
“We value our more than 10 years with Lincoln, but to double the size of our business over the next decade, there was a clear need for rebuilding the foundational supports at the firm from a technology perspective, from a process and administrative efficiency perspective and from an internal service perspective,” Mitch Mammini said. “Commonwealth allows us to address all those metrics. They bring a technology and a service platform that works for firms that are two or three times our size.”
Mammini Company also saw Commonwealth’s local footprint – the firm has headquarters in both San Diego and Waltham, Massachusetts – as “a value add,” he added.
Commonwealth Managing Principal and Chief Business Development Officer Becca Hajjar described Mammini Company’s “heritage” of helping working families prepare for retirement as “dear to the heart of the Commonwealth mission.”
Mitch Mammini said that growth in the retirement plans space is being driven by corporations and nonprofits looking to benefit packages to attract and retain top employees.
“We work with a lot of companies that are trying to provide differentiated solutions to providing workplace retirement plans,” he said, adding that retirement plans can be developed for employees across a spectrum of income levels.
“The businesses we have the biggest impact on are those where a big portion of their employee base are working class San Diegans that maybe are not in the higher income levels but certainly are doing well enough to successfully save for retirement and can benefit from a more hands-on, personalized approach to employee education,” he said.
In addition to providing corporate and union retirement and financial services, Mammini Company also operates a third core business providing private wealth management services.
“We do a good job there as well,” Mitch Mannini said.
PRESIDENT: Mike Mammini
HEADQUARTERS: Mira Mesa
BUSINESS: Financial services
AUM: ~$3 billion
SOCIAL IMPACT: Mammini Company actively supports Build a Miracle, Make a Wish, The Nativity School Rancho Santa Fe, Surfrider Foundation and First Tee.
NOTABLE: Mike Mammini founded the Mammini Company with his wife Elizabeth, who is the firm’s Chief Financial Officer.