Wes Edens and Alternative-Investments
Wes Edens is co-founder and current principal of the Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm. Randal Nardone and Rob Kauffman also helped to start-up fortress, but Kauffman retired in 2012 to pursue his passion for car racing.
Started in 1998, the Fortress Investment Group specializes in corporate mergers and acquisitions, operations management, capital markets, and asset-based investing. Although Fortress was the first alternative-investment firm to go public on the NYSE, it was also the first to be bought. SoftBank Group Corporation, a Japanese company, purchased Fortress in 2017. Wes Edens is still a principal of Fortress along with two others, Nardone and Peter Briger who started with Fortress in 2015.
One of the alternative-investments that Wes Edens is currently apart of is Brightline, a train that connects cities in southern Florida. Beginning on May 19th, 2018, Brightline began commuting passengers from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale and vice versa; Brightline has been running from Ft. Lauderdale to West Palm beach since the beginning of the year. This investment by Fortress and Wes Edens is a greener approach to the commute and can save passengers a lot of time. While the average commute with no traffic is half an hour, with construction or an accident, this can easily increase to several hours. On Brightline, the trip is about 30 to 35 minutes. This investment is also a cheap alternative at $10 per ride, compared to Uber at approximately $40. So far, customers have been happy with this substitute option and it is easy to see why.
Another investment that Fortress and Wes Edens is a part of is the purchase of the soccer club Aston Villa. Edens purchased it with Nassef Sawiris through their Egyptian-based group, NWSE. Tony Xia, a Chinese business man bought the club in May 2016 and will stay on as co-chairman. Investing $39 million gave Edens and Sawiris a 55% stake in the team. Edens is also co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucs of the NBA and he believes that his experience in sport teams can bring Aston Villa back into the top tier of English football.