Martin S. Fridson interview
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 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. 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.
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 editorial boards of Financial Analysts Journal, CFA Digest, and Journal of Investment Management.