Martin Steven Fridson
(b. September 4
in Highland Park, Michigan
) is an eminent American investment thinker known for his application of rigorous financial theory to the field of high yield bonds
. He is also a philanthropist and prolific author in the subjects of financial reporting
, financial history, and political economy
. Fridson is one of the most well respected living financial professionals, often referred to as the "dean of high yield debt
. He lives in Manhattan
's Upper West Side
with his wife, Elaine Sisman
Fridson earned a B.A. cum laude in History from Harvard University
in 1974 and as a result of gaining work experience during college was able to attend Harvard Business School
the following semester, eventually graduating in 1976 with an MBA. He was also awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1982.
Fridson had little intention of entering the world of finance after getting an MBA; however, he interviewed with Mitchell Hutchins and accepted a position as an electric utility bond trader in 1976. After Mitchell Hutchins was acquired by Paine Webber
in 1977 he left with his trading group to Scandinavian Securities where he worked ultimately as an assistant vice president. In 1980 he went to Paine Webber
's Jackon Curtis arm as a vice president in credit research and fixed income investment strategy. In 1981 he joined Salomon Brothers
as a Vice President focusing primarily in credit research continuing to take a high interest in the high yield debt world. At this time, high yield debt came into the sights of institutional investors as a portfolio enhancing investment and there was a great demand for quality research in the field. According to Fridson, much of the high yield analysis at the time was indistinguishable from advocacy. Realizing the opportunity for this kind of research he left for Morgan Stanley in 1984, where he began to challenge market lore and accepted practices by using statistical and econometric techniques, leading to many active trading strategies. Here he became a principal before leaving for Merill Lynch & Co
. in 1989, where he was Director of High Yield Strategy until 2002. His contributions to the field of high yield debt at Merrill came from applying econometric techniques to active portfolio management strategies. While at Merrill he also documented a definitive history of the high yield debt market, which as Fridson says, "was shrouded in myth. In 2002, he left Merrill to found his own firm, FridsonVision LLC, which is the first independent high yield investment research company. In May of 2008, Fridson sold Leverage World and Distressed Debt Investor, the two primary research products of FridsonVision, and is now the CEO of Fridson Investment Advisors, an investment management company focusing on corporate credit opportunities.
Fridson has also been a consultant to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since the Clinton Administration.
He has been a guest lecturer at the graduate business schools of Babson College, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Fordham University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University and the Wharton School of Business, as well as the Amsterdam Institute of Finance. He has served as president of the Fixed Income Analysts Society, governor of the Association for Investment Management and Research (now the CFA Institute), and director of the New York Society of Security Analysts. Currently, Fridson serves on the board of directors of the Western Sizzlin Corp. and on the editorial boards of Financial Analysts Journal, CFA Digest, and Journal of Investment Management.
Awards and recognition
- "Perhaps the most well-known figure in the high yield world," according to Investment Dealers' Digest.
- "One of Wall Street's most thoughtful and perceptive analysts," according to The New York Times.
- "No one brings more insight or a better reputation for integrity to the junk-bond market than Marty Fridson," according to Barron's.
- "A hybrid of Stephen Hawking and Studs Terkel" according to investment manager Michael McAdams.
- Pensions & Investments called his satirical writing on financial markets "worthy of Jonathan Swift."
- High Yield Bonds, 1989
- Financial Statement Analysis, 1991
- Investment Illusions, 1996
- It Was a Very Good Year, 2000
- How to be a Billionaire, 2001
- Unwarranted Intrusions, 2006
External links and sources