Wes Edens a driving force behind the success of Fortress Investment Group
Wesley R. Edens was born in the on October 30, 1961, and is a resident of New York. He attended Oregon State University where he graduated with a Bachelors in Finance and Business Administration in the year 1984. Wesley R. Edens started his professional career in 1987 serving as a managing director and partner for Lehman Brothers. He was also a partner and managing director for BlackRock Asset Investors serving in the sector of private equity between 1993-1997. In 1998 five key partners came together and founded Fortress Investment. These included Wes Edens, Michael Edwards, Randal Nardone, Peter Briger and Robert Kauffman. Wes Edens brought to the table investment strategies that were described by The Wall Street Journal as “contrarian bets, creative financing and a knack for building a business from an investment.” On February 9th, 2007 the company went in the records of history as the first buy out firm to go public.
In this period when the company went public, it had numerous profitable assets under their management.These included hedge funds, equity funds and both the alternative for public and private investment. In December 2006, Nomura Holdings which is a financial holding company with its roots in Japan purchased 15% of the organization for $888 million with the profits going to Wes Edens and his partners. By the year 2009, Wes Edens together with his partners had sold 8% of its shares to the public for an estimate of $600 million. When the stocks plummeted in the crash of 2008 Wes Edens was by that time serving as the Co-Chairperson Fortress’ board of directors. Wes Edens was the driving force behind Fortress’ purchase of Springleaf Financial Services which is a subprime lender. This purchase happened in 2010 with 80% of the shares being sold to Fortress Investment Group. Then, Fortress became the official major stakeholder for the company with an investment of $124 million. The value of the company had appreciated up to $3.5 billion in the year 2015 an astonishing 27 times profit for what they had invested earlier.
The Wall Street Journal described Wes Edens as the “new king of subprime lending.” Wes Edens became the chairman of Nationstar Mortgage which is an organization that deals with subprime equity mortgage lending for homes. By 2005 the firm had its operations across 25 states in the United States and was responsible for delivering over 30,000 homes. In 2014 the owner of Milwaukee Bucks Herb Kohl sold the team to Wes Edens and Marc Lasry for $550million, and a promise was made that the team would remain in Wisconsin. A brand new arena was also to be built in place of BMO Harris Bradley Center. Wesley Edens is married and has been blessed with four children. Wesley Edens enjoys mountain climbing and horse jumping during his free time. According to a report by Bizjournals, Wesley Edens was included in an article by The New York Times that his “take-home pay” was $54.4million annually.