Freeman graduated in 1960 with a B.A. in English. He was the secretary of Pi Lambda Phi fraternity, literary editor of the Epitome, co-founder of Endor, winner of the Williams Debate Prize and a member of Pi Delta Epsilon. He earned a law degree from Columbia University in 1964, and is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Lehigh University until 2007.
Freeman practiced law in Paris for Baker & McKenzie, worked in Paris, London and Amsterdam for McKinsey & Company and then joined Salomon Brothers New York corporate finance department in 1973. At Salomon, he created the firm’s Energy Group and later co-headed its mergers and acquisitions department. He was named a general partner in 1979 and a managing director in 1982. In 1989, he moved to London to head Salomon’s European investment banking department. In 1991, he was nominated by the US Treasury to serve at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as head of the banking department.
Freeman returned to Salomon Inc. in 1997 as co-chairman of investment banking. In 2000, Freeman retired as managing director and co-chief executive of Salomon Smith Barney. He now serves on the board of directors of Troika Dialog, on the investment committee of the Doughty Hanson $700 million European Real Estate Investment Fund, on the supervisory board of PLIVA, on the board of the American University of Paris and on the Development Committee of Mansfield College, Oxford University. Freeman is also a Governor of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Committee. He and his wife, Helen, and their two daughters continue to reside in London.
Freeman established the Ronald M. Freeman Scholarship and the Ronald M. Freeman ’60 Endowed International Scholarship. Additionally, he established the Frank Hook Assistant Professorship, in honor of his deep admiration for Frank Hook, professor of English.