Wes Edens is an entrepreneur who helped found the Fortress Investment Group in 1998 alongside Rob Kauffman and Randal Nardone. He also co-owns Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Team that’s based in Wisconsin together with Mark Lasry. Along with Fortress Investment Group, Edens owns the FlyQuest eSports team that was created in 2017. FlyQuest participates in the North American League of Legends. Edens is an alumnus of Oregon State University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Finance and Business Administration in 1984. He later joined the Lehman Brothers, where he served as a partner and Managing Director between 1987 and 1993. He then joined BlackRock Asset Investors, where he also worked as partner and Managing Director until 1997. In 1998, he joined hands with Rob Kauffman and Randal Nardone to create Fortress Investment Group.
The trio helped the company grow astoundingly over the years leading up to the company starting to trade publicly in 2007 through an Initial Public Offering. An year earlier, Nomura Holdings had purchased 15% of Fortress Investment Group making the principals of the organization billionaires on paper. In 2009, Edens became the co-chairman of the Board of Directors of Fortress and of Chairman of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC between 2015 and 2016. Wes Edens even helped Fortress Investment Group purchase Springleaf Financial Services, an investment that would later grow to become worth $3.5 billion. Edens also chairs the Nationstar Mortgage, a lender that’s owned by Fortress Investment Group, and has helped in creating over 33,000 homes in the US. Fortress Investment Group was sold to a Japanese Multinational Company, SoftBank for $3.3 billion.
Fortress now works as an independent entity under SoftBank with Wes Edens, Briger and Nardone, the principals of Fortress Investment Group, still leading the organization. Fortress also owns the Brightline Passenger Rail, the only privately owned railroad in the country. It operates in South Florida, between Miami and Orlando. In the Fortress Investment Group,Wes Edens owns an estimated 63.3 million shares, a figure that has helped him take home an estimated $54.4 million annually as payment. The company pays him $13.4 million as compensation, and $41 million is from dividends he received because he is a shareholder. These payments have helped Edens join the billionaire Forbes list, which places him at number 369 estimating his worth at $2.5 billion. He continues to make strides in investments that might garner him more wealth in coming years.