Wesley Robert Edens is one of the five principle founders of Fortress Investment Group that was started in 1998. In its two decades of existence, Wes has played a critical role the firm’s transformation from an idea to a multi-billion global investment firm. He particularly played a crucial role in the nurturing the then small startup into the giant investment firm it has grown to as well as in helping it back on to its knees after the crippling Subprime mortgage crisis of 2007/2008.
Wes Edens investment career
Wes started his finance and investment career at Lehman Brothers in 1987 as a partner and managing director, a position he held until 1993. He then joined the private equity management division of Blackrock investors in a similar position before leaving to form Fortress Investment in 1997. He helped set up Fortress Investment Group, together with Peter Briger and Randy Nardone, where he served as CEO and Chairman until August 2009.
Contributions to Fortress investment
Fortress investment started off with limited resources and even smaller alternative investment portfolio. However, through Edens’ stewardship, the firm had diversified its portfolio and expanded its investment vehicles tenfold by the time it called for a public IPO in 2007. By the time the company went public, its assets under management included both publicly traded and private equity investment options.Wes Edens had successfully steered the investment company towards private equity funds, real estate, and hedge funds. By 2009, the company had distributed only 8% of their share capital to the public for over $600 million, a clear indication of the successes the firm had found in diversified asset management.In 2010, Wes Edens pushed for the investment of $124 million in Springleaf Financial services where he became chairman. By 2015, he had improved the company’s value to $3.5 Billion, effectively earning Fortress Investment 27 times its initial investment. He was also instrumental in the acquisition deal with the subprime lender in the same year where Fortress Investment Group acquired 80% of Springleaf Holdings Inc.
There is more to Wes than his financial and investment prowess. He is also a sportsman interested in basketball d e-sports. This explains why he went into partnership with Marc Lasry in the purchase of Milwaukee National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise for $550 million in 2014. He is also the owner of FlyQuest, a professional video gaming e-sports team that participates in North America League of Legends Championship Challenge Series.
Wes Edens investment prowess has earned him such titles as the King of subprime lending by the wall street journal. He is also described by most people among the investment circles as a creative financier with the ability to build businesses off investments.