Mario Gabelli

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Mario Joseph Gabelli
Born (1942-06-19) June 19, 1942 (age 77)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materFordham University
Columbia Business School
OccupationFounder, Chairman, and CEO of Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors
SalaryUS$88.5 million (2014)[1]
Net worthUS$ 1.6 billion (July 2019)[2]

Mario Joseph Gabelli (born June 19, 1942) is an American stock investor, investment advisor, and financial analyst. He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors (Gamco Investors), an investment firm headquartered in Rye, New York. Forbes Magazine listed him as #346 on the list of wealthiest Americans in the 2006 Forbes 400 and estimated his net worth at $1 billion as of 2011.[3]

Gabelli founded his firm in 1977 as a broker/dealer, and the company has since grown into the diversified financial services corporation. He was paid $55 million in 2004.[4] His pay of $58.2 million in 2006 was "more than the pay of any senior executive of a major Wall Street firm" that year, despite the fact that he manages only a fraction of the assets of larger Wall Street companies.[5] Gabelli was paid $45.9 million in 2008 at Gamco Investors, a 35% decrease compared to his 2007 compensation of $70.9 million.[6]

Gabelli is a leading proponent of the Graham-Dodd school of security analysis and pioneered the application of Graham and Dodd's principles to the analysis of domestic, cash generating, franchise companies in a very wide range of industries. His proprietary Private Market Value methodology is now an analytical standard in the value investing community.[7]

Gabelli is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member and former officer of the New York Society of Security Analysts, the New York Society of Auto Analysts and the Entertainment Analysts Group of New York.

Gabelli has been a frequent commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN, and appeared ten times on Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street. Gabelli is often written about in the financial print media including Institutional Investor, Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, Money, and Changing Times. He has also written articles for investment publications such as the Financial Analysts Handbook and for the Gamco blog.

Early life[edit]

Gabelli, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in The Bronx and went to Fordham Preparatory School, where he graduated in 1961.[2] He has said he read market reports for fun when he was very young and that he bought his first stock when he was 13 years old.[2]

Gabelli won a scholarship and graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude in 1965. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.[8] At Columbia, he was taught by Roger Murray, noted value investing professor and co-author of the Fifth Edition of Security Analysis, The Graham & Dodd Value Investing Bible.[9] Gabelli and his firm later launched the Graham & Dodd, Murray, Greenwald Award for Distinguished Value Investors. This award is presented yearly at his Annual Client Symposium.


After graduation, Gabelli accepted a position at Loeb, Rhoades & Co. as a security analyst responsible for coverage of farm equipment, auto parts conglomerates and later media and broadcasting. Gabelli was putting into practice the theory of value investing that he learned at Columbia. He rated companies not by earnings but cash flow, analyzing a firm in great detail to calculate what he called private-market value: not the share price at which a stock was selling on an exchange, but the price per share someone would be willing to pay in order to buy the whole company. This method would be widely used in the 1980s in leveraged buyouts, in which a public company's managers would buy their company, or at least a considerable part of it, and take it private. The calculations employed were often not the same as the standard valuation measures for public companies. This methodology was later trademarked as The Gabelli Private Market Value with a Catalyst Methodology.

Gabelli & Co.[edit]

In 1976, Gabelli formed Gabelli & Co., an institutional brokerage house, with borrowed funds and money he had accumulated trading his own account. Soon after Gabelli formed Gabelli Investors (later Gamco Investors) to manage money for clients. After sending a memo to a Barron's editor touting a company he fancied, Chris-Craft Industries, Inc., Gabelli landed on the cover of this financial weekly. By 1981, Gamco had 81 accounts and was managing about $33 million. Despite the rocky economy and stagnant stock market or the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gabelli made money for his clients each year. While investors were seeking to get in on the ground floor of a company's growth, Gabelli preferred to cash in on a company's death. During the next few years, he invested in or recommended companies that were taken over by other firms or privatized.

By the mid 1980s Gabelli was managing over $350 million in client assets and compounding returns at more than 35 percent per year. While Business Week was touting the "Death of Equities" on its cover, Gabelli was quoted as saying "I don't need a rising market to bail me out." Gabelli's firm was doing all its own research, usually with the idea of identifying firms that might be candidates for leveraged buyouts: those with characteristics such as a large amount of cash on hand, underlying assets such as real estate, or a large block of stock in the hands of a company founder with no children. He also looked for companies in industries where new competition was difficult and cash flow was high. Once Gabelli selected such a stock, he was willing to wait for years until it appreciated. He began buying Cowles Communications, Inc., for example, in 1977 at $14 a share and eventually became its biggest stockholder. In 1984, the company (now Cowles Media Co.) was privatized at $46 a share, for a total payoff to Gabelli's clients of $33 million. Another media winner was Chris-Craft, whose BHC Communications achieved almost a sixfold pretax gain in income over six years in the 1980s and in the 1990s assembled its own network, United Television. The relentless Gabelli was visiting about 50 companies a year to gain information and meeting the managers of more than 100 other corporations annually, as well as getting together with other portfolio managers to discuss ideas and reading about 20 trade journals, two or three newspapers, and a number of industry and company reports. He also was writing research reports for his brokerage customers and portfolio-manager and other professional-investor clients. "I read annual reports instead of novels," Gabelli told Jerry Edgerton of Money in 1986. As a narrowly focused investor with large holdings in a few companies, he was able to bring influence to bear on company management.

Between 1978 and 1985, Gabelli's portfolios outperformed the Standard & Poor's index of 500 stocks each year and more than doubled the results of this S&P index in five of those years. Between 1977 and 1988, Gamco Investors' assets appreciated at an annual compounded rate of 28 percent, a rate exceeded by very few money managers. This money management entity had never lost money over a year and had met Gabelli's objective of ten percent annual return after taxes and inflation in all but two years. Gamco Investors' equity assets, flush with cash invested by company pension funds, reached $1.6 billion in 1986.

The Gabelli Mutual Funds[edit]

Gabelli's first investment vehicle for the general public, The Gabelli Asset Fund, launched in March 1986 as a no-load fund requiring a minimum of $25,000 to invest. Later, and today, this fund is available for a minimum investment of $1,000 and accepts IRA investments without a minimum. The Asset Fund was later followed on by The Gabelli Equity Trust, a closed-end fund, which, at the time, was the largest equity offering on the NYSE. By the end of 1988, Gabelli's firm had three mutual funds—two run by himself—with combined assets of $650 million.

Fund Manager of the Year - 1997[edit]

In 1997, when ten Gabelli equity funds averaged a return of 31.7 percent, the best of any U.S. mutual fund group, Gabelli was honored by Morningstar, Inc. as the domestic equity fund manager of the year.[10]


University of Nevada, Reno[edit]

In December 2013, the University of Nevada, Reno announced it had received a $1.5 million donation from the Gabelli Foundation to help pay for the construction of the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center.

Gabelli is a member of the Wiegand Foundation's board of trustees. In September, the Wiegand Foundation gave the largest donation in its history of $8 million as the lead gift toward the construction of the four-story fitness center.

"As a trustee of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, I was moved by the university's vision of taking care of the 'whole student,'" Mr. Gabelli said.

The Gabelli Foundation is based in Reno, and Gabelli has visited Reno numerous times and toured the University of Nevada Reno campus. "If you go to a Jesuit school, they have a philosophy about the body and the mind that says in order to get your mind to work, you have to have your body in shape," said Gabelli, a graduate of Fordham University, a Jesuit institution in New York. "I'm into that kind of holistic approach."

He said an institution's faculty and facilities are the top two things that attract students to a campus. "This donation was an easy way to hitchhike on the Wiegand Foundation's gift, and once we get there, we will look at another opportunity to help UNR," Gabelli, said, referring to the fitness center's anticipated opening in late 2016.

University President Marc Johnson said the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center will allow students to more fully integrate wellness into their daily lives. "We are deeply grateful to Mr. Gabelli for generously supporting this milestone project," Johnson said. The fitness center will be built on the parking lot north of the Brian Whalen Parking Complex.Its location bordering North Virginia Street will complete a vision for the university as an institution that nurtures students' minds with the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, their spirit with the Joe Crowley Student Union and their bodies with a new fitness center, Johnson said.

Columbia Graduate Business School[edit]

In July 2013, The Gabelli Foundation pledged an additional $15 million. This gift is earmarked for the construction of Columbia Business School's new Manhattanville campus. The building is scheduled to open in 2018.[11]

Fordham University[edit]

Among those recognized at the 2010 Fordham University Founder's Award Dinner were Mario J. Gabelli, CBA '65, and Regina M. Pitaro, FCRH '76, a Fordham trustee and managing director of Gamco Asset Management. In September 2010, Fordham formally announced Gabelli's $25 million gift, the largest ever in the university's history. The gift allowed Fordham, which renamed the undergraduate business college the Gabelli School of Business, to expand student scholarships and faculty chairs, and is crucial to the creation of the Center of Global Investment Analysis which brings together students, faculty and professionals in the financial community to enhance scholarship in the study and understanding of capital markets.[12]

Gabelli gift lifts alma mater[edit]

Thursday, September 27, Fordham unveiled a new 50,000-square-foot building for its undergraduate business school.

The building, in the heart of the university's 85-acre campus in the Bronx, cost $38 million to renovate. It will now have the latest technology for education, lounge space on every floor, ample Bloomberg machines, and a Roman fountain.

As part of the institution's capital campaign, investor Mario Gabelli, chief executive of Gamco Investors Inc. and a Fordham alum, pledged $25 million, the biggest gift the university has ever received. The funds helped push the business school's donations to $50 million, $10 million over its goal. In honor of his gift, it has been named the Gabelli School of Business.

But instead of putting his money into brick and mortar like many philanthropists, Gabelli — who said this is the biggest single gift he has made yet —wanted his grant to help build the school's faculty.

"My heart and soul is based on education and giving back to help the system," said Gabelli, who also contributes to Columbia Business School and Boston College, among others. "And what makes a good university is faculty." His money will endow six faculty chairs, create a visiting-professor program and support a new center for global value investing—a highly unusual program for an undergraduate business school.

Donna Rapaccioli, dean of the business school, said Gabelli's support has already put it on an upward trajectory. This year, the college received more than 7,100 applications for 395 spaces in its freshman class, up from 6,000 applications the previous year.

"Mario's gift certainly added to making Fordham a hot school, and this new facility is adding to that," Ms. Rapaccioli said.

Fordham University Ph. D. Program[edit]

In 2014, Mario Gabelli funded the University's ability to initiate the Gabelli Ph.D. Program which will establish a doctoral-level business program at Fordham's Gabelli School of Business.

"We are, of course, deeply pleased by Mario's latest gift," said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. "Pleased for what it means for business education at Fordham and pleased for the vote of confidence from a world class investor. Mario's generous gift builds on his legacy, and adds significantly to the Fordham School of Business intellectual capital."


Boston College[edit]

In September 2010, Boston College announced Gabelli's $3 million gift that was used to endow a professorship in finance in the college's Carroll School of Management. An undergraduate dormitory is also named after Gabelli because of a past donation to the school. Previously, Gabelli, who serves on the college's board of trustees, gave $10 million to create the Gabelli Distinguished Presidential Scholars Fund which provides fifteen students with full tuition every year.

Presidential Scholars Program[edit]

In 2014, Boston College's Presidential Scholars Program was renamed the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program as a result of a major gift from the Gabelli Family Foundation.

The program provides an integrated educational experience within the University's honors program. The program has 264 alumni and currently enrolls 72 of BC's most accomplished students.

Mr. Gabelli has been one of the program's most generous and ardent supporters since its inception in 1991.

"It is fitting that this program be named in honor of Mario Gabelli, who has been so committed to advancing it over the past 25 years," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ. "I am grateful to the Gabelli Family Foundation for its generous gift in support of our Presidential Scholars".


The Gabelli Foundation's Recent Gift to Boston College[edit]

In December 2015, The Gabelli Foundation made a contribution to Boston College to further the Foundation's commitment to the Jesuit philosophy of enhancing the intellectual, spiritual and physical aspects of the whole person. Gabelli commented on the recent gift by saying "we believe the United States has flourished because of the Rule of Law, the free market system and meritocracy. The underpinning of meritocracy is education. We believe for the great educational institutions to succeed, the institution needs facilities (Gabelli Hall), faculties (The Endowed Chair), students (Gabelli Presidential Scholars) and financing. To this we add the Jesuit philosophy of the whole person. Our recent gift was intended for the Athletic Department." The Gabelli Foundation's commitment serves to further support Boston College's ability to provide students with a great educational experience which prepares them to succeed as the next generation of leaders.

Roger Williams University - Mario J. Gabelli School of Business[edit]

The Roger Williams University Mario J. Gabelli School of Business was established in 1995, three years after the university conferred an honorary doctor of business degree on Gabelli. In subsequent years, Gabelli has continued to support the school through additional financial pledges as well as being a mentor to students through the University's Leadership Institute Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series.

As an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited school - a distinction less than 5%of the world's 13,0000 business schools have earned in recognition for their academic programs - GSB hosts an active chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society as well as a chapter of the Delta Sigma Pi professional fraternity.

The Center for Advanced Financial Education (CAFE) program allows students to manage two real dollar portfolios in real time. CAFE is an award-winning program, having captured two highly competitive, portfolio management based, national championships in 2013-14. Current, industry standard, trading room technology, including Bloomberg terminals and Bloomberg certification is available for finance and other majors.

University of Miami[edit]

In 2011, a gift from Gabelli enabled the School of Business Administration to establish a new endowed professorship. The Gabelli Asset Management Endowed Professorship will provide critical support of the University's faculty, research and services initiatives. In addition the Finance Professorship, Gamco has supported the school's academic initiatives, scholarships, mentoring and job placement initiatives.[15]

Barron's All-Century Team[edit]

On January 10, 2000, Gabelli was inducted into the Barron's All-Century Team, their list of the most influential mutual fund industry portfolio managers. [16]

The third decade[edit]

By 1998, Gabelli Asset Management Inc. was managing $16.3 billion. In February 1999, the company went public selling 6 million shares, or about twenty percent of the common stock at $17.50 per share.

Fred Mancheski/other[edit]

In March 2006, a judge awarded partial summary judgment in favor of claims that Gabelli had unfairly prevented investor Frederick Mancheski, who invested $50,000 in 1977, from selling his shares in Gabelli Group Capital Partners (GGCP) at fair market prices.[17] In the ensuing settlement, GGCP distributed assets on a pari passu basis including nearly two million shares of NYSE listed Gamco and approximately $20 million in cash.[17] Contrary to statements, Mancheski still controls over 90% of the shares that were distributed.

In 2001, whistleblower Rufus Taylor III filed a civil lawsuit against several companies owned by Gabelli, alleging fraudulent practices in FCC auctions between 1995 and 2000.[18] In those auctions, the government set aside cell phone licenses to be sold to small businesses. Taylor's lawsuit said that Gabelli used more than twelve "sham" startup companies to meet the requirements of a small business applicant in the auctions and acquire the licenses at a small business discount.[19]

The "whistleblower" actually was an attorney who once worked in the telecommuncations business for LICT's competitor Adelphia which went bankrupt. These parties were not sued by the government or private plaintiffs.

The lawsuit allegations claim Gabelli, by virtue of his role in publicly traded LICT Corp., was fraudulent because Gabelli had de facto control over the companies and had aggregate assets that far exceeded the ceiling of the small business criteria, which would disqualify an applicant from the small business discount auctions. Supposedly, many other participants, both individuals as well as corporations, in the wireless auctions, totally unrelated to Gabelli, also set up business arrangements to take advantage of the small business discount and succeeded, even though in reality they too could not pass the small business criteria. The government stood on the sideline and did not take up the suit for the American public.

Indeed, LICT's FCC attorney stated that Gabelli complied with FCC requirements. The suit had alleged that the Gabelli-backed false "entrepreneurs" included an NBA player, a related party, a former partner of an accounting firm, an aerobics instructor, and even the caretaker of a vacation home in part owned by Gabelli.[19] On July 12, 2006, the suit was settled when the bidding entities reportedly agreed to pay $130 million to settle the allegations.[20]

Gabelli's money management business, Gamco Investors, was not a party to the lawsuit.[21] Neither Gabelli nor his companies nor any of the other parties were charged. The Government did not pursue any other wireless auction participants in the small business discount area. LICT and other FCC auction participants continue to participate in the ongoing auctions of wireless spectrum and other FCC license auctions.

The Fourth Decade[edit]

Institutional Investor - Money Manager of the Year[edit]

The Institutional Investor selected Mario Gabelli as 2010 Money Manager of the Year for its second annual U.S. Investment Management Awards. The award selection was based on performance as well as a survey by U.S. institutions. In 2010, Gamco returned 28.6% for institutional clients. Since inception in 1977, it has generated annualized returns of 16.3%.[22]

Boston College[edit]

Gabelli established the Gabelli Distinguished Presidential Scholarship and is a lead supporter of the Presidential Scholars Program. In addition, he has served as a University Trustee and Trustee Associate and has endowed the Mario J. Gabelli Professorship in Finance in the Carroll School of Management. In 1995, the residence hall at 80 Commonwealth Avenue was named in honor of Mr. Gabelli.[23]

National Italian American Foundation[edit]

On October 17, 2015, Gabelli was honored by the National Italian American Foundation at their 40th anniversary gala in Washington, D.C. with their Leadership and Service Award recognizing him as an Italian American who has distinguished himself in business and made a significant contribution to the foundation. Gabelli is a former member of the Board of Directors of the foundation.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Mario Gabelli July 2019
  3. ^ Mario Gabelli - Forbes
  4. ^ Editors, Forbes Magazine (November 2006). "#346 Mario Gabelli". Forbes 400de. Forbes. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
  5. ^ New York Times. "Openers: Suits – Super Pay," 25 March 2007
  6. ^ "Mario J. Gabelli's Compensation in 2008". The Globe Opinion. Archived from the original on 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  7. ^ de Ternay, Guerric. "Mario Gabelli: How Do Value Investors Pick the Right Stocks?". BoostCompanies.
  8. ^ "Mario J. Gabelli".
  9. ^ "The Great Minds of Investing - Mario Gabelli: A Knack for Making Money". The Observer. June 6, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  10. ^ "Morningstar Hall of Fame: Fund Manager of the Year Winners"
  11. ^
  12. ^ Bob, Howe (September 2010). "Business Alumnus Gives $25 Million to Fordham". Fordham University eNewsroom.
  13. ^ Miriam, Kreinin Souccar (2012-09-23). "Gabelli gift lifts alma mater". Crain's New York.
  14. ^ Jack, Dunn (September 2010). "Gabelli $3 Million Gift Endows CSOM Professorship". The Boston College Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13.
  15. ^ "Business School Establishes Endowed Professorship". University of Miami Press Release. March 2011.
  16. ^ "All-Century Team of All Stars". Barrons. January 10, 2000.
  17. ^ a b Sorkin, Andrew Ross (2006-05-05). "Gabelli Settles Investor Suit for $100 Million". The New York Times. p. Late Edition - Final, Section C, Page 3, Column 3,. Retrieved 2006-05-30.
  18. ^ Keenan, Matthew (June 2006). "Gabelli in Talks With Justice Department on Claim". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  19. ^ a b Glovin, David; Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam (June 2006). "Gabelli to Pay $130 Million to Settle Fraud Lawsuit". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  20. ^ Masters, Brooke A. (July 2006). "Gabelli Settles FCC Auction Charges". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  21. ^ Glovin, David; Sree Bhaktavatsalam (June 2006). "Gabelli Reaches Accord With U.S. Over Cell Licenses". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  22. ^ "U.S. Investment Management Awards". Institutional Investor. May 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  23. ^ Sullivan, Kathleen (April 26, 2012). "President's Medal for Gabelli". Boston College. Retrieved 2012-05-02.