Friedman is never satisfied with “good enough.” The Middlesex County resident co-launched the practice that ultimately became Prager Metis back in January 1987 — as Spitz and Friedman, “if Spitz and I backed our chairs up in the office we’d hit each other,” — and never stopped growing. Today, as CEO to more than 100 partners and principals and 600 team members working at 23 offices across the U.S. and internationally, Friedman continues to seek out opportunities for his firm and its clients.
Leveraging the experience he’s gained from decades of hands-on M&A — the largest-to-date was the merger with Prager and Fenton, which created Prager Metis and vaulted it into the Top 100 US Firm ranks — Freidman has worked with many clients on their own M&A activity. He’s also spoken at multiple conferences on the art of the M&A deal.
His current focus is on the “the firm of the future,” with fast-forward initiatives like Rylti — a platform that leverages cognitive artificial intelligence to deliver real time auditing and monitoring of music royalties — and a soon-to-be introduced NFT, or non-fungible token. NFTs are units of data stored on a blockchain, or digital ledger, that provide assurance of the authenticity of a digital asset, and this initiative will manage and produce NFTs for the firm’s sports and entertainment clients.
Friedman is also helping to propel diversity, equity and inclusion activity at Prager Metis [the firm’s co-managing partner is a woman, Lori A. Roth] and he’s observed that “the firm of the future doesn’t look like me, and the client of the future doesn’t look like me. So that needs to be reflected in the makeup of our partners and our employees.”
As Friedman sees it, the next challenge involves transforming “legacy” accountants into “new-firm” advisors. But he views it as an opportunity, noting that “Intellectual curiosity doesn’t have an age.”