Fortress Investment Group Co-Founder Wes Edens: Financial Services Industry Veteran

Experienced financial services professional Wes Edens is one of the co-founders New York based private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. A very successful businessman with diversified interests, Edens is also co-owner of the National Basketball Association franchise the Milwaukee Bucks. A 1984 graduate of Oregon State University, Wes Edens has a bachelors degree in business administration and finance. Lehman Brothers gave him an opportunity to get started in the financial services industry when they hired him in 1987. By the time he left the company in 1993, Edens was a managing director and partner.  The American businessman’s next move in his budding financial services career was to join BlackRock Asset Investors, the private equity division of BlackRock. From the beginning of his four year tenure there, Edens was a partner as well as a managing director.

In 1997 Wes Edens left BlackRock. A few months later, he got together with Randall Nardone and Robert Kauffman and created Fortress Investment Group.When Edens and his team held an initial public offering in 2007, Fortress Investment Group was the first buyout firm to be publicly traded. An article published in The Wall Street Journal early in 2007 described the investment style of Wes Edens as creative financing, a knack for using investments to build business, combined with contrarian bets. At that point the assets the company had under management included private equity as well as two real estate vehicles, four hedge funds, 14 private equity fund and other vehicles that are publicly traded alternative investments.

Edens has been a billionaire since 2006, when Nomura Holdings, a Japanese financial holding company, paid $888 million for 15% of Fortress investment Group. The exceptional leadership skills of Wes Edens became crucial during the subprime mortgage crisis that resulted in the stock price of Fortress Group falling to under one dollar. In 2009, Edens became the Fortress board co-chairman and encouraged purchasing an 80% interest in Springleaf Financial Services, a subprime mortgage lender. Springleaf’s value rocketed to $3.5 billion by 2015, that’s over 27 times the original investment of Fortress Investment Group. The company was back because of Wes Eden’s vision.Edens, who has 4 children with his wife Lynn, is also the owner of eSports team FlyQuest. It competes in the professional video gaming championship series called League of Legends. In his free time Wes Edens enjoys mountain climbing, horse jumping and several other hobbies.