In-Depth Biz Profile: Manning and Napier
For more than four decades, investment management firm Manning & Napier has grown slowly and steadily. But this past year it added more than one hundred employees and in November 'MN' as it's listed on the New York Stock Exchange went public. YNN's Leah George speaks with CEO Patrick Cunningham in this week's in-depth business profile.
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CEO of Manning and Napier Patrick Cunningham said, "When you come to work at Manning & Napier, you come to work."
The Fairport-headquartered, investment solutions company has grown exponentially since it was founded by Bill Manning and Bill Napier in 1970, but Cunningham says the company's mission remains unchanged.
"So it’s not simply beating indexes it’s not simply doing better than the guy down the street managing money, or on wall street, it’s helping people achieve their goals, and that’s the foundation of Manning & Napier," said Cunningham.
Cunningham says Manning & Napier provides financial and benefits related solutions; to individuals and couples, foundations and endowments, even IRA corporate funds, and defined benefit plans.
He said, "We have a particular methodology, and process, and style if you will, and we fit a roll with many of our institutional clients."
Manning & Napier's valuation process gained national attention in the early 2000's after the company was recognized as the only investment manager to have beaten the S&P 500 11 years in a row.
"We’re opportunistic, when markets get ugly, we get active,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham says Manning & Napier's strategy of 'winning by not losing' allowed clients to fair well when the tech bubble burst in 2000 and again when the housing market collapsed in 2008.
"There was no place to hide almost every sector of the market was down, but once again it’s how you react to that which is key to success, we were able to purchase very, very good companies at prices that we hadn’t seen in a decade," said Cunningham.
Manning & Napier manages $44.7 billion dollars in assets for clients in all 50 states, Europe, the Middle East and Canada. It maintains a satellite client services office in Columbus, Ohio and a research office in St. Petersburg, Florida 400 of the company's 489 employees work in the Rochester offices.
Cunningham said, "The fundamental way of looking at businesses, we’ve looked at for the same way since our doors opened. Bill Manning is the architect of that process."
Bill Manning is also the Chairman of Manning & Napier's Board of Directors and majority shareholder. The company went public in November. Cunningham says 47 employees own a little more than 86 percent of the 12.5 million shares of stock issued at $12 per share.
"I don't know what we're trading today, we're too busy taking care of clients,” he added.
Cunningham said the move was a way to add capital to Manning & Napier's balance sheet to seed new products, make opportunistic acquisitions, remain independent, elevate the name of the firm and provide an orderly succession plan for the company's sole living founder. Cunningham says the region should be excited to have another public company that's growing, but inside the offices for the most part he says it's still, business as usual.
"My job has changed more than anybody else’s because now I have to talk to the public talk to the analyst, and so that has been a bit of an adjustment still most my time is block and tackle, running a business," said Cunningham.
Manning & Napier, this week's in-depth business profile.