Education & Accreditation
Certified Financial Planner™
M.B.A., University of North Florida
B.S. in Finance, Syracuse University
Mark Baniewicz didn’t follow the typical path into the world of finance. After majoring in the subject as an undergraduate, he turned down a Rhodes Scholarship to join the NFL. Over the course of his brief professional football career, he saw his contemporaries fall into all sorts of financial troubles, despite impressive contracts. Mark saw that people with money were often taken advantage of and rarely protected properly—something he set out to fix when founding Socius.
Mark first began managing capital upon leaving the NFL to earn his M.B.A., where he was part of a small group of students tasked with managing a portion of the university’s endowment fund. His group outperformed the professional managers—Mark has been living and breathing finance ever since.
A Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Mark founded Socius in 2004 to help families navigate a financial services industry that was stacked against them and overly sales-oriented. As the President and CEO, he provides leadership and strategic direction, contributes to major decisions around client capital, and spends as much time as he can with clients.
Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Mark moved to South Florida in 2004, where he currently lives with his wife of 10 years, two children, and their dog Casey. In his free time, he enjoys downhill skiing, coaching his kids’ sports teams, traveling with his family, and barbequing.
What’s your vision for Socius?
I see Socius as a beacon of light in a dark and deceptive industry. If we keep our heads down and keep serving our clients, I believe the success of the company is inevitable.
What do you love most about being at Socius?
That’s simple. Our people and our clients—we’re nothing without them.
What’s the most gratifying part of your job?
Not having to sell anything, because I’m a lousy salesman. I enjoy the consultative aspect of my work. Most people don’t have any peace of mind about money—if we can help cultivate that, I’m gratified.
What are your favorite moments with clients?
When a client comes to the realization that our firm can be trusted—that we truly are acting in their best interests. Once I sense that understanding—and the relief and trust that comes with it—there’s nothing better.
What’s the biggest challenge most people face when it comes to their wealth?
The emotional and behavioral aspects. We humans don’t make perfectly rational financial decisions the way old-school economic textbooks suggest we should. You can only do three things with money: spend it, save it, or give it away—and most families struggle mightily with all three. Emotional and behavioral challenges are usually the root cause.
What are you most proud of in your professional life?
Before Socius, it was making a 53-man roster in the NFL—and being nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship, which I respectfully turned down to pursue my athletic career.
Today, my proudest professional achievement is building a company with people I believe in, and watching our clients continually beat the odds.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Raiding the chocolate chips designated for our Saturday morning pancakes, and pizza with a side of blue cheese (it’s an upstate New York thing).