When you picture the landscape that is known as the American economy, it is almost totally impossible to imagine a world where there are no publicly traded companies in the industry of private equity investment. The world that I am describing was a reality just 11 years ago. This all changed during the initial public offering of Fortress Investment Group which was held during spring of 2007. Fortress Investment Group had managed over the course of around 20 years to grow from a simple privately owned private equity investment company to become the country’s first publicly traded private equity company. It is now known as one of the world’s leading alternative asset management firms, and without the help of its founders, it may never have grown to the size that it is today.
The company was originally founded by five individuals, but none of them are more important than the man who serves as the company’s current chairman Wes Edens.Wes Edens is known throughout the world as one of the most prominent figures of business in the world of finance however he comes from humble beginnings. He graduated from Oregon State University in the 1980s with a degree in finance and a degree in business administration. From there he went and got his foot in the door in the finance industry by working at Lehman Brothers for several years and eventually became a managing director for the company. After serving his time as managing director at Lehman Brothers, he was acquired by Blackrock asset investment group to serve as a managing director at their firm.
In 1997 with the experience that he had gained working for these two corporations he along with five other individuals founded the company which is known today as Fortress Investment Group.Utilizing his trademark style of investment which is been described as contrary and comprised of creative financing he helped to propel the company from its initial foundations to the economic powerhouse that it is today.Earlier this year Wes Edens helped to guide the company through a corporate merger led by Japanese technology giant soft drink group Corporation. During this corporate acquisition, Fortress Investment Group was able to increase its valuation by over $140 million. It managed to do this by selling each share of the company at a premium of $2.25 for a total closing price of $8.08 per share. This move was approved in July 2017 by the company’s shareholders.