Wes Edens is one of the founding members of the Fortress Investment Group. Born in 1961 he attended the Oregon State University in 1984 where he undertook a degree in finance and Business Administration. From here Wes Edens would get employed at Lehman Brothers where his career took off. Starting in 1987 he had become a partner and managing director by the time he left in 1993. He then took on the same positions at BlackRock financial where they recognized his potential and ability to grow the group’s portfolio. In 1997 Wes Edens left BlackRock and began looking for partners to start fortress, and by 1998 they had brought together assets worth more than four hundred million under their management and Fortress was up and running.
As one of the Cofounders of Fortress, Wes Edens has always been very involved in the running of its affairs. Today he chairs the board of directors, and as one of the principals, he is in charge of the New York office. In 1996 Nomura holdings approached the Fortress Investment Group proposing to acquire a fifteen percent stake for eight hundred and eighty-eight million. This deal was later approved pushing the paper wealth of the group’s founders to the billions. Over the next one year, the Fortress investment group would list on the NYSE with an IPO underwritten by Goldman Sachs and by 2009 the group had sold more than eight percent stake to the public. At this time the stock was experiencing rapid growth, and its value would rise by more than 70 percent.
In 2010 in a move supported by Wes Edens the Fortress Investment Group acquired AIG, America, this was at a time when the subprime leader was almost on its knees and in a deal worth 125 billion dollars some questioned the strategy. However, between then and 2014 AIG would change to Springleaf financial services, and its value would rise to become a private equity firm worth more than 14 billion dollars. The fortress investment group was acquired by Softbank in 2018 and is now a private company once more. They, however, remain one of the biggest private asset management firms with more than 40 billion under management.