This biographical article is written like a résumé. (November 2012)
September 4, 1952|
Harvard University (BA - History cum laude), 1974|
Harvard Business School (M.B.A.), 1976
|Known for||High Yield Investment Research, Inventing a well accepted criterion for distressed debt - simply it is debt that is trading over 1000 basis points above treasuries.|
|Awards||Youngest Fixed Income Analyst Hall of Fame Inductee|
|Fields||Finance, high-yield debt|
Martin Steven Fridson (born September 4, 1952 in Highland Park, Michigan) is an American author known for his application of rigorous financial theory to the field of high yield bonds. He is also a philanthropist and an author in the subjects of financial reporting, financial history, and political economy. Fridson has been referred to as the "dean of high yield debt." He is currently Chief Investment Officer of Lehman, Livian, Fridson Advisors LLC, an investment firm based in New York and Miami, and lives on 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 with The Southwestern Company selling books door-to-door 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 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 Merrill 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. In May 2008, Fridson sold Leverage World and Distressed Debt Investor, the two primary research products of FridsonVision, and became the CEO of Fridson Investment Advisors, an investment management company focusing on corporate credit opportunities. Following that firm's acquisition by BNP Paribas, he served as Global Credit Strategist in the bank's asset management subsidiary. In August 2012 he resumed operations under the FridsonVision LLC banner.
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 editorial boards of Financial Analysts Journal, CFA Digest, and Journal of Investment Management.
Awards and recognition
- In 2000, he became the youngest person ever inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Society Hall of Fame.
- In 2002, the Financial Management Association International named Fridson the Financial Executive of the Year.
- For nine consecutive years through 2002, participants in the Institutional Investor All-America research survey ranked Fridson number-one in his category. The magazine's editors dubbed him "the dean of the high yield bond market."
- "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
- Moyer, Stephen G.: "Distressed Debt Analysis", page 7. J. Ross Publishing, 2004
- Moyer, Stephen G.: "Distressed Debt Analysis", page 6. J. Ross Publishing, 2004
- Fridson, Martin S."High Yield Bonds" Probus Professional, 1989
- Scherreik, Susan (2002-10-21). "A Perfect Time to Buy Junk?". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2007-09-11.