Private equity investor and businessman investor Wes Edens is a 1984 graduate of Oregon State University. Edens earned a BS in finance and business administration, then was hired by the financial services company Lehman Brothers in 1987. By the time Wes Edens left the company in 1993, he had worked his way up to partner and managing director. Edens then joined Blackrock Asset Investors, the private equity division of Blackrock. He spent 4 years with the company as partner and managing director. Then in 1997, he decided to start to build his own company called Fortress Investment Group.In 1998, working with Robert Kauffman, Randall Nardone, Michael Novogratz and Peter Briger, Wes Edens started Fortress Investment Group as a private equity firm.
The Wall Street Journal described the investment style of Edens as consistently employing creative financing, contrarian bets, along with the ability to build a business from investments. In 2007, Fortress Investment Group became the first private equity firm to be traded publicly.After Fortress Investment Group sold 15% of the company to Nomura Holdings, a Japanese financial holding company, for $888 million in 2006 and in 2009 sold an 8% share for $600 million, Edens was ranked number 559 on the Forbes billionaires list with a net worth of $1.2 billion. Running the private equity business is Edens’ role at Fortress Investment Group. He recommended that Fortress should become majority owner of Springleaf Financial Services in 2010 for $124 million. By 2015 Springleaf’s value increased to $3.5 billion, 27 times what Fortress Investment Group paid for its stake in it.
In addition to Wes Eden’s work with Fortress investment Group, he is also the chairman of Nationstar Mortgage. Plus, Edens is co-owner of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks. The team cost $550 million and Edens promised to build the team a new arena and keep the Bucks in Wisconsin. He’s also the owner of FlyQuest, a team in the professional video gaming e-Sports League of Legends. The husband and father of 4 is also actively involved in sports in his free time. His hobbies include mountain climbing as well as horse jumping.In 2009, Edens became the co-chairman of Fortress Investment Group’s board of directors. He also helped the company navigate the subprime mortgage crisis and rebuild its value after crisis was over. Wes Edens was also Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors chairman from 2015 to 2016.