Whether it is private equity investing, professional sports, or railways Wes Edens has proven to be a savvy businessman with an eye for an underdog.
One of the five founders of Fortress Investment Group, a diverse investment management group with over $40 billion in assets, Wes Edens has shown a penchant to blaze trails. In 2007, with the issuance of an IPO, Fortress became the first large equity firm specializing in alternative assets to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. This brought a level of transparency into the world of private money investing that had not been experienced before. Wes Edens was also the driving force behind Fortress’s purchase of AIG’s American General Finance. This would later become Springleaf Financial and would skyrocket in value, further reinforcing his business acumen.
Expanding on his investments, in 2014 Wes teamed up with Marc Lasry to purchase the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team from Herb Kohl. The two purchased the team, which won it’s only title 47 years ago in 1971, for $550 million and just 4 years later the team’s most recent valuation is over $1 billion. Looking to expand on his financial success in the sporting world, Wes Edens has teamed up with Egyptian Billionaire Nassef Sawiris to purchase a 55 percent controlling share of the Aston Villa Soccer club. Aston Villa is a professional soccer club based in Aston, Birmingham England. The club recently fell into financial difficulty and Edens and Sawiris are making investments they believe will turn the club around. To know more about him click here.
In a final example of bucking current trends, Wes Edens is also making a number of investments in the rail industry. Despite the fact that the transportation industry seems to be moving toward autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars, Edens sees opportunities in rail. Some of the more prominent projects currently on his radar are a high speed train linking Las Vegas and Southern California, a $2 Billion expansion of rail from West Palm Beach to Orlando, and potential future rail expansions from Orlando to Tampa, Houston to Dallas, Charlotte to Atlanta and Chicago to St. Louis.