When Wes Edens, the co-founder and co-CEO of financial services company Fortress Investment Group, earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Oregon State University, no one could anticipate how much he would use the knowledge and training it offered. Since graduating, Edens has held management positions in dozens of companies. He has also been responsible for the financial transactions involved in private equity for Fortress Investment Group for 20 years. But long before he helped to start the company, Wes Edens had been using his financial acumen to earn a living.Edens began working at Lehman Brothers in 1987. By the time he left the company in 1993, he had become a partner and a managing director. His excellent financial acumen, skills and experience enabled Wes Edens to do well at Blackrock Financial Management. He then spent a year at UBS as a partner and managing director.
Then in 1998, Wes Edens got together with Rob Kauffman and Randal Nardone and created the private equity firm Fortress Investment Group. When Edens and his co-founders took the company public in 2007, it was historic. No other large private equity firm had ever had their stock publicly traded.Over the course of his career, Wes Edens has held executive and directorial positions in countless companies in a bewildering array of industries. Some of those companies include Drive Shack Inc., Florida East Coast Railway Corporation, Gatehouse Media, Global Signal Inc., Capstead Mortgage Corporation, Intrawest Resorts Holdings, SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd., Aircastle Ltd., Rail America, Brookdale Senior Living Inc., Italfondiario SpA., GAGFAH S.A., Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc., doBank S.p.A. and many others. It’s a testament to the diverse skillset and leadership skills Wes Edens possesses.
Wes Edens has a wide variety of interests. He owns the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks. Edens has been involved with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation for decades. Plus, he is a thoughtful individual who has helped Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota by setting up the Edens Professorship in Global Health. Wes Edens has also supported the Brown School of Public Health by working with its advisory council. He has also created The Edens Family Fund for Climate Change Research at the prestigious Princeton University.Wes Edens’ New Fortress Energy has recently built Jamaica’s first LNG terminal. He is also taking 27 vacant acres in Milwaukee and creating a vibrant entertainment district.