January 18, 2023

Carly Colombo
484-385-2934 (office)
[email protected]

James B. Freedman, Managing Director and Chairman of Intrepid Investment Bankers, to Receive 2023 Horatio Alger Award 

Horatio Alger Association names 13 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its Member Class of 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2023) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that James B. Freedman, Managing Director and Chairman of Intrepid Investment Bankers, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Freedman joins 12 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2023 honors. For 76 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to education and charitable efforts in their communities. 

An entrepreneur by nature, Mr. Freedman was born into a working-class family in Connecticut and held several miscellaneous jobs by the time he was seven. Throughout his early years, he found, refurbished and sold used golf balls, worked in retail, in a restaurant, in hospitality and even operated a forklift, which enabled him to save money and help put himself through college. He discovered his passion for travel early in life; following his graduation from Cornell University in 1975, Mr. Freedman sold his personal belongings to travel across Europe, budgeting to live on just $10-$20 per day. He was later accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his MBA while serving as a cargo handler for Delta Airlines. Following his graduation from UCLA, Mr. Freedman chose to put down roots the Los Angeles area and build his career there.

After spending four years at Foothill Group, a small finance company where he quickly earned multiple promotions, Mr. Freedman founded Barrington Associates, a financial advisory firm. Though it took nearly eight years to show any significant profit, Mr. Freedman and his partners persevered, built up the firm and eventually sold Barrington Associates to Wells Fargo Bank in 2006. He later co-founded a second company, Intrepid Investment Bankers, which in 2018 sold to MUFG, the sixth-largest bank in the world. He remains Chairman to the Los Angeles-based company to this day. Throughout his career, Mr. Freedman has advised more than 500 middle-market companies and acted as principal financial advisor in hundreds of corporate transactions valued from $20 million to more than $1 billion.

“Throughout his life, Mr. Freedman has learned the value of hard work, the importance of entrepreneurship and, ultimately, the meaning of the American Dream,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “Leaning on these ideals, Mr. Freedman overcame personal and professional challenges and is an excellent example of success for our nation’s future leaders. He will be an excellent role model to Scholars for years to come.”

Mr. Freedman is committed to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, and as such, recently donated several million dollars to the UCLA Graduate School of Management Venture Accelerator program to help students achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. An avid philanthropist, Mr. Freedman primarily supports causes related to education, health and human services, the environment and religious and community improvement. He serves on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing and the Yosemite Conservancy.

“Supporting young entrepreneurs and leaders to realize their potential brings me immense personal fulfillment,” said Mr. Freedman. “I quickly felt connected to the Horatio Alger Association’s mission to help deserving students reach their dreams through higher education, and I look forward to any impact my story and mentorship can provide to its Scholars.”

Since 1984, the Association has awarded annual need-based scholarships to high school students who have displayed dedication to pursuing higher education despite significant obstacles throughout their lives. The Association also aims to educate young people about the endless opportunities available by the free-enterprise system through commitment, honesty, and diligence. The scholarships are made possible through the Association thanks to the generosity of its Members, who will have collectively provided more than $245 million to 35,000 students by 2023.  

“Each year, it is our utmost honor to present outstanding leaders who have displayed extraordinary perseverance in overcoming challenges with the Horatio Alger Award,” said James F. Dicke II, chairman, Horatio Alger Association and 2015 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “Each of these incredible leaders has also shared their success with others, giving generously to important causes and communities in need. The 2023 awardees exemplify the Association’s mission and are proof that the American Dream is within reach for all who seek it.”

Mr. Freedman and the Member Class of 2023 will be formally inducted into the Association during the Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. from March 30 through April 1, 2023. The three-day event is an annual ceremony to honor both the achievements of Members and National Scholars, who will have multiple opportunities to meet, interact and exchange stories of perseverance. 

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2023, please visit and follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:  

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2022, the Association awarded more than $16 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships to over 1,600 students across the United States and Canada, and provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. By the 40thanniversary of the Association’s scholarship program in 2024, more than $259 million will be awarded in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 37,000 deserving students. For more information, please visit