Howard Freedland, CFA Investor/Busniessman/Philanthropist
Howard began his investment career in the early '70s as an analyst and portfolio manager at The St. Paul's mutual fund subsidiary. Recruited to Beverly Hills to run equity investments for CMB Investment Advisors in 1978, he decided that his clients would be better served paying him for performance as opposed to an asset-based fee. This radical idea led to the formation in 1978 of one of the first hedge funds on the West Coast, September Investors. In order to implement one of the first "green mail" transactions (today it would be called "activist investing"), he formed his own institutional broker-dealer, London Freedland.
Over the years, he is credited with a number of innovative strategies including one of the first private placements in a public company (today's PIPE transactions). His private equity fund, September Venture Investors, financed several private companies that had public exits.
During the the late '80s and early '90s, he left the investment business for a four year charitable stint in Venice, Italy and London, England. In 1992, Howard returned to the States to help lead the turnaround of a major durable medical goods company. He then negotiated a joint venture between GE Capital & ResCom and became CFO of the resulting telecom joint venture. In 1995, he formed National Water & Power which remains one of the largest providers of independent utility billing services in the US.
After the sale of NWP in 2000 to a consortium of venture investors, Howard founded Lido Capital, a consulting company specializing in the utility and telecom industries, where he developed a personal and proprietary management technique called “3 Dimensional Management”. Howard was a leading advisor to the State of California during the 2000 - 2001 energy crisis.
In 2012, Howard formed Direct Lending Advisors to invest in the emerging marketplace consumer lending business. In 2015, DLA was sold to Emerald Asset Management of Leola, PA. In 2015, Harper Foster partnered with a multi-billion dollar SoCal family office to create Online Lending Partners. OLP was the seed investor in LendingUSA, a point-of-sale consumer lending platform, and its related funding company, LCUSA Funding. In 2018 at the annual LendIt conference, LendingUSA received a FinTech award as the Outstanding New Consumer Lending Platform. Howard remains actively involved in LendingUSA as its Vice Chairman.
In 2017, OLP was the seed investor in Sequoia Home Funding, a real estate company focused on building and upgrading homes in seniors oriented communities. SHF formed Sequoia Home Replacement which designs, builds, and finances replacement homes for owners (typically senior citizens) of existing real estate owned manufactured homes. This unique program helps senior citizens upgrade their quality of life while increasing the value of their real estate. Howard remains an investor in Sequoia.