Wesley Edens, co-founder of Fortress Investment Group is a man with counterintuitive approach to investment. His rise in subprime lending can be majorly traced back to 2010 after the financial crisis. Wes Edens and his Fortress Group have invested over $3 billion in building a private passenger railroad in Florida when others crazing for self-driving cars investment.
In 2014, Mr. Edens became the co-owner of Milwaukee Bucks, putting his investment in a team whose hope for championships had escaped the minds of many over a half a century ago. Recently, his investment risk taking intuition drove him to buy a majority stake at the struggling EPL club, Aston Villa.
In a statement to dispel people’s fears of bad investment, he says that he wants to see things as they are and not as other people view them. He quips, “You have to make everybody suspend their disbelief that it won’t happen”.
Wes Edens co-founded Fortress in 1998 and he is still the co-CEO. In 2007, Fortress became the first private equity fund to go public, raising his stake to $2.3 billion. In 2017, Fortress was bought by SoftBank at a value of $3.3 billion raising his stake by 40% premium.
Mr. Edens was raised in a ranch in Montana, by a psychologist father and schoolteacher mum. He mostly spent his time outdoors. He says, “there were only two TV stations hence one had two options, to read books or leave the house”. He opted for the latter. During his teen years, he was a very competitive ski racer, a sport he loves to date. He likes skiing and rock climbing near Jackson, Wyoming where he owns the luxurious Caldera Hotel.
Wes Edens graduated from Oregon State University in Finance and Business Administration in 1984.After graduation; he worked with a small bank in Sana Francisco. Later on, an acquaintance at Merrill Lynch encouraged him to try his fortune at Wall Street. Being a risk taker and investment oriented, he gave it a try and landed a job at Lehman Brothers. Wes Edens later moved to BlackRock in 1993, where he was made partner and managing director. In 1998, he and a few colleagues saw an opportunity and decided to make it on their own, thus founding Fortress.