Brian J. Friedman
CFA, CBE, President, Co-Founder, Chief Investment Officer
The mouse pad in Brian Friedman’s office bears the image of the figure who first interested Brian in investing when he was 12: Mickey Mouse. Brian had already been learning about business throughout his childhood from his commercial real estate developer father, who furthered his financial education by buying the boy his first share of stock, in Disney, and showing him the shareholder report that bore Mickey’s smiling face.
Brian, who grew up in Denver, earned a BA in Economics at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He also studied for a year in Israel at Tel-Aviv University, learning about the history, politics, and economics of the Middle East. He continued to learn about economics and politics as a research assistant at D.C.’s Brookings Institution and then as an Economic Analyst at the Law and Economics Consulting Group. It was in those years, which included his earning an MBA in Finance and Accounting at the University of Chicago, when he began to develop the economist mindset and theories about global finance that inform his investment philosophy to this day.
Brian brought these ideas to his work as an International Equity Analyst at mutual fund company Founders Funds back in his hometown of Denver, then as a Portfolio Manager at Owen-Joseph Asset Management in San Diego. Seeking a more client-focused approach, Brian returned to Denver and connected with Bob Hochstadt and Steve Levey of Gelfond Hochstadt Pangburn (GHP), which was then becoming one of the first accounting firms in America to expand into wealth management and financial planning. Finding in Brian’s asset management expertise a complement to their own proficiency at tax advising and estate planning, they brought Brian aboard as President and Chief Investment Officer of GHP Investment Advisors.
Since 1999, Brian has overseen GHPIA’s growth from $10 million in assets under management (AUM) to $1.8 billion today. The firm remains guided by investment benchmarks Brian developed in the 1990s, guidelines by which the firm has successfully navigated the extreme market volatility of the last two decades, including the 2000 and 2008 financial crises. Brian has lectured at various local educational institutions, including the University of Colorado at Denver. He has been a frequent radio guest on KOA, offering financial commentary. He’s a board member at the World Trade Center Denver and a former Co-Chair of the Financial Roundtable of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), as well as a member of the planning committee of NABE’s annual International Symposium in Europe. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) designations.
Brian and his wife live in Denver and have three college- and high-school-aged children. He’s well-known in the community for his philanthropy, his support for education, and his advocacy for Israel. (Brian is also the founder of GHPIA adjunct Israel Investment Advisors, which caters to clients who want to support Israel by investing in Israeli companies.) He enjoys mountain sports and golf.