Glenn Laken

Wes Edens’ Creative Financial Deals Yield Lucrative Results for Fortress Investment Group

Fortress Investment Group was co-founded by Wes Edens in 1998. Wes is among five other principal partners for the investment firm. With assets that include private equity, publicly traded alternative investments, hedge funds, and real estate investments, Fortress Investment Group was recognized by Nomura Holdings, a Japanese financial holding company, and 15 percent of the firm was acquired for $888 million. In 2007, the firm became the first to ever receive a publicly traded buyout, which resulted in an eight percent share value to the public, grossing $600 million within two years after the buyout. That same year, Wes became the Co-Chairman for the Board of Directors. Wes Edens has a B.S. degree in Finance and Business Administration, which he received from Oregon State University in 1984. Within three years, Wes was selected to work for Lehman Brothers and later became managing director in 1993. His experience later led him to BlackRock Asset Investors, where he was appointed partner, as well as managing director, for the firm’s private equity division. Wes’s tenure with BlackRock Asset Investors continued until 1997.

According to BizJournals in 2016, the total compensation for Wes Edens was estimated at $54.4 million annually. Mandated reporting to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows the total compensation includes a $200,000 salary, $1.1 million in awarded stock, $11.6 million in bonuses, and $478,473 in non-salaried compensation. Earlier this year, Wes Edens announced that Fortress Investment Group closed a deal with Japan’s Softbank Group Corporation for $3.3 billion. Wes, along with his original founding partners will continue their leadership roles within the firm, based on a five-year contract. Fortress Investment Group will continue its financial operations and role as an independent firm within SoftBank.

At the time the deal was closed, Fortress Investment Group was trading at $7.85 per share. It’s not all about successful business dealings that keeps Wes committed to the financial success of the firm. Through all the business ventures and deals over the years, Wes has remained the type of leader that treats his employees with value and respect. He often compares the employees of the firm as “assets.” Its important for Wes to maintain a level of openness with employees in order to know what they value the most. As a leader, Wes Edens makes sure that employees receive the best competitive pay, along with essential benefits in order for them to thrive within their respective careers.