Wes Edens, Chairman and Founder of Fortress Investment Group

Wes Edens is a renowned American basketball team owner, private investor and a successful businessman. He is one of the owners of The National Basketball Association and Milwaukee Bucks that he bought from Herb Kohl for $550 million in 2014.He received a B.S in Finance and Business Administration from Oregon State University in 1984. He began his career at a California bank before moving to Lehman Brothers as a partner and a managing director up to the year 1993.Between the years of 1993 and 1997, he again worked as a managing director and a partner at BlackRock’s private equity division In 1998, Wes Edens partnered with Michael Edward, Robert Kauffman, Peter Briger and Randal Nardone to establish Fortress Investment Group.On February 2007, he helped Fortress become the first publicly traded buyout firm. It was at this time too that Fortress assets under management included both private equity and publicly traded alternative investments.

Wes Edens became the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Fortress in the year 2009. He also held the position of Chair at Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors from May 2015 to May 2016.Running Fortress’s private equity business, he was involved in the purchase of subprime lender Springleaf Financial Services which was then called American General Finance. This made Fortress the Springleaf’s majority stakeholder and by 2015, the value of Springleaf had surprisingly grown to over $3.5 billion.This put the firm’s profits at more than 27 times Fortress’s initial investment value.He is also the chairman of Nationstar Mortgage, which was formerly referred to as Centex Home Equity Company, LLC, a subprime home equity mortgage lender that was acquired by Fortress for over $575 million in 2006.His “take-home pay” according to Bizjournals is at a staggering $54.4 million annually.

This includes his annual compensation from Fortress Investment group of about $13.4 million and $41 million in dividends he receives as a shareholder. He earns a salary of $200,000, almost $1.1 million in stock awards, an $11.6 million in bonuses and $478400 in other compensations.Wes Edens’s profile is nothing but impressive, he now controls a firm that executes investment strategies for more than 160 businesses around the globe in credit liquid markets, private equity, and traditional asset management.Started with just $400 million and 30 employees, Fortress now manages over $71 billion worth of assets and 1200 employees. Wes Edens is married to Lynn Edens and together they have 4 children. Apart from business, he is also interested in horse riding and mountain climbing.

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