It was a very interesting day at the FBR conference yesterday. At lunch just before my turn on stage, I had the privilege to sit with Manny Friedman (see his bio below). We share an optimism about the underlying strength of the market and of the technology industry. Manny gave a brief overview of how he sees things and netted out the basis of his optimism because of five fundamental sea changes. My talk was about the Future of the Internet. I tried to paint a picture of investment opportunity around the Next Generation of the Internet — Fast, Always On, Everywhere, Natural, Intelligent, Easy, and Trusted. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
- The Federal Reserve Board is supportive of growth by continuing to keep interest rates low
- The administration is supportive of growth by continuing to accept a deficit
- The dollar is weakening and many U.S. companies are benefiting from the decline
- The capital markets are accommodating the refinancing of corporate and personal balance sheets at significantly reduced cost
- Psychology of investors is shifting. The bull market is underway
Manny Friedman is the Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. (NYSE: FBR). He co-founded the company — one of the most successful capital markets and private equity firms in the nation — in 1989 with Eric Billings and Russ Ramsey. Mr. Friedman oversees the company’s asset management operations and plays an active role in FBR’s corporate finance activities.
Mr. Friedman developed FBR’s award-winning sales, research and trading group, as well as its unique team-oriented culture. In 1990, during one of the most difficult periods for the bank and thrift industry, Mr. Friedman recognized the opportunities in this market niche, and spearheaded FBR’s expansion into the banking sector. He supported the re-capitalization of individual banks and thrifts by focusing FBR’s research and trading efforts on specific re-capitalization vehicles, including rights offerings. After the firm’s first investment banking deal in December 1992, Mr. Friedman conceived the innovative recapitalization structure of Glendale Federal Bank, and coordinated the $451 million recapitalization of that institution, which was completed in 1993. Mr. Friedman also led FBR’s involvement in numerous additional bank and thrift recapitalizations during 1993, including Chevy Chase, Riggs Corporation and Dime Bancorp, Inc. Throughout the mid-1990s, Mr. Friedman was active in building out FBR’s alternative investment vehicles. In 1996, he formed the firm’s first private equity fund.
In April 1998, Mr. Friedman was awarded the CEO of the Year Award by George Washington University. He was honored for his outstanding leadership skills, demonstrated ability to meet organizational goals in the most challenging business environments, dedication to the community, and commitment to education.
Mr. Friedman received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Juris Doctor from The Georgetown Law Center at Georgetown University.