A graduate of Oregon State University, Wesley Robert Edens first earned a degree in Finance and Business Administration in 1984. Three years later his career started as a partner and managing director at Lehman Brothers, where he stayed until 1993. That year he would continue to work in the financial industry at BlackRock Asset Investors before departing in 1997.
Wes Edens and four other partners then went on to form Fortress Investment Group in 1998. His style of betting against popular opinion, he built financial success and that of Fortress.
In 2007, Fortress went public to become the first buyout firm to be available to the public. This move speaks volumes to his character and style, with a growing track record of building successful businesses through investments. Fortress would go on to manage varying types of assets such as equity funds, hedge funds, and real estate vehicles. In 2006 after a Japanese firm purchased a 15% stake in Fortress, Wes Edens and his partners became billionaires.
A few years later Wes Edens would go on to become a Co-Chairman of Fortresses Board of Directors and help to resurrect the firm after its stock dipped below a dollar during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2009. In 2015, he would serve the Chairman of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC before stepping down in 2016.
As a successful businessman, Wes Edens and another man by the name Marc Lasry together purchased the Bucks, an NBA team based out of Wisconsin. Not only a co-owner, but Edens would also later take it upon himself to educate members of the team on how to build their wealth off the court best. This task was essential because 50% of players would file for bankruptcy after retiring, and that figure increase by ten when considering the first five years after retiring.
His desire to put them in a better place financially is also a good indication of his character and better yet, his desire pass on his knowledge and experience to those that could benefit.
Though his career at Fortress has turned him into a billionaire virtually overnight, Wes Edens still makes a living at the firm. In 2016 it was reported that his “take-home pay” was around %54.4 million a year. If one were to break it down, his pay is composed of a $200,000 salary, $1.1 million from awarded stock, $11.6 million in bonuses and $478,493 from unspecified compensation. These figures were as of 2015, the year prior.
Furthermore, at that time he also helped some 63.3 million in shares, which other executives at Fortress were also entitled to as members of the board.
It goes without saying that Edens has gained a lot of experience over the years, has made many smart decisions that have resulted in him building a fortress of success. His desire to pass that knowledge on also makes him a unique individual within the investment industry.
He currently lives in New York City with his wife, and they have four children.
Wes Edens’s Social Media: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O51VtMJzMgU