Our History

Old Newsletter imageOur founders, Doug Fleer and Rian Fried, first met at a neighborhood gathering in 1983. The two found that they had strong common interests in social justice, the environment, and financial markets. Within a few months, they formed Fried & Fleer Investments and began publishing a monthly stock-market newsletter that they called The Clean Yield. That publication featured a list of socially screened companies, as well as a model portfolio. With its unique content, The Clean Yield quickly developed a nationwide following among financial professionals as well as individual investors just learning about the emerging field of socially responsible investing.

VT Benefit Corp imageB CORP imageIn particular, The Clean Yield’s model portfolio drew attention for its strong investment performance. Before long, subscribers began calling to ask for market trading advice, and Clean Yield Asset Management incorporated as a registered investment advisory firm in 1986.

We became a registered B Corp and one of the first Vermont Benefit Corporations—certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and transparency—in April 2011.

In July 2013, we were deeply saddened by the loss of Rian Fried. The staff today is honored to carry on Rian’s legacy.

Today, Clean Yield Asset Management is headed by partners Dorigen Hofmann, Eric Becker and Elizabeth Glenshaw.

 


Picture of Rian Fried

Rian Fried (1948-2013)

In July 2013, we were deeply saddened by the loss of Rian Fried.

Second only to his family, Clean Yield Asset Management was Rian’s greatest passion and source of pride. His vision, skill, and care kept us attuned to our social and financial mission in the almost 30 years since he started the company with Doug Fleer.

Throughout his adult life, Rian positioned himself astride two worlds, the nonprofit and the for-profit. In the ’70s, he made notable contributions to nonprofits, especially the community action agency serving the disadvantaged in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. When he and Doug founded CY in 1984, they envisioned a for-profit with ideals and practices characteristic of nonprofits. The company has been run that way ever since. Most notably in the past decade, Rian began directing some of his clients’ capital in support of small business ventures like High Mowing Seeds and Vermont Smoke & Cure, which were, like Clean Yield, progressive in product, employee relations, community support, and the environment. In a moving tribute to Rian, the Vermont journalist Joseph Gresser wrote of his legacy:

The new agricultural businesses that have flourished in the Northeast Kingdom over the past decade could not have grown so quickly without capital.  Many of the necessary resources were found by Rian Fried, a pioneer in the field of socially responsible investing who preferred to work quietly behind the scenes.

We are committed to keeping his legacy of innovation alive and keeping Clean Yield true to the ideals he cherished.