Understanding Investment Finance with Peter Briger
Peter Briger graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree and proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania where he attained a Masters in Business Administration. Professionally, Briger was a partner at Goldman Sachs where he oversaw operations and held various roles such as managing the Goldman Sachs Special Opportunities (Asia) Fund. During his fifteen-year tenure, Briger also served on the Asian Management Committee and Global Control and Compliance Committee. Peter joined Fortress Investment Group as a principal in 2002 bringing with him a wealth of experience and knowledge about Asia’s financial sector. He was appointed as chairman of the board in 2009 and he presently handles the group’s real estate and credit fund business areas.
Over the years, Peter Briger has earned a sterling reputation among his equally successful colleagues at Fortress and the industry as a whole. He landed in Forbes’ Billionaires List with the most recent ranking being 317. Besides working on his career, Peter is keen to render his time and money to a variety of philanthropic and community-centric causes such as the Silicon Valley Leadership Council for the Global Fund for Children. He also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization that fosters comprehension of policy among citizens and officials. In 2015, Peter Briger along with other alumni launched Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF), to support alumni entrepreneurs and startup enterprises. AEF was chosen by Princeton’s Entrepreneurship Committee to join the ranks of programs that will help the university achieve the goals of Entrepreneurship the Princeton Way.
AEF fosters creativity, innovation, generation of ideas, and risk-taking attitudes among Princeton’s past and present student body. Briger derives that this initiative is well-timed as Princeton needs to prepare students to thrive in a disruptive business world. So far, AEF has invested in twenty-five startups where alumni receive up to $100,000 in seed money coupled with peer-to-peer learning and mentorship opportunities. Peter Briger learned about Bitcoin in January 2013 from Wences Casares, an Argentinian investor who explained how the fringe technology worked. It allowed people to transfer money instantly without geographical limits. Although skeptical at first, Peter was aware of how the present approaches to moving money contributed to distress in companies. There were initial hiccups with the proposed partnership with Wells Fargo but the latter called a meeting to discuss a Bitcoin project with Fortress in the Wall Street offices. However, after the arrest of Charlie Shrem who was the VP of Bitcoin Foundation, the deal fell flat and Bitcoin’s chance of joining Wall Street was curtailed.