Business Leader, Investments

Wes Edens on Diversifying Investments

As one of the three principles, Wes Edens has been very instrumental in the growth of the Fortress Investment Group. He has been part of the Private equity division in the firm since it was founded having worked in the same sector before he quit employment to start Fortress. Wes Edens was a managing director and partner at BlackRock’s private equity fund. Here he was part of the team that made some of the largest deals for the firm and by the time he left, he was quite familiar with what it entailed to run a private equity firm. He was always an investor that saw opportunities in distressed businesses and would in one-way or another extract value from them.

This has been part of his strategy at Fortress, and over the years, it has served him and the group well. One of these instances was in 2010 when he convinced the others to let Fortress acquire AIG for 125 million dollars. The company at the time being part of those that were affected by the subprime crisis did not seem like an attractive venture. Wes Edens was, however, convinced that together with his team he could turn the company around. The deal was concluded and that point they embarked on reviving it today what many knew as AIG has been renamed to Spring Leaf Financial and has over 14 billion dollars under management.

Wes Edens has been viewed as one with a high tolerance for complexity. He seeks to figure out a way to get returns from distressed assets and in doing so is at times forced to venture into the ever-fluctuating environments that at times call for dangerous leveraging.Wes Edens has been very keen when it comes to sports investing. This he, however, does on a personal level with his first investment being the 550-million-dollar purchase of the Milwaukee Bucks where he is now a co-owner together with Marc Lasry. His love for basketball is well known, and despite not playing he is quite passionate and regularly attends his clubs’ games. He ventured into the European Soccer scene earlier this year. This was with a 55 percent purchase of the Aston Villa Football Club. This is a club that has existed for more than 140 years and currently competes in the championship having missed by a whiskey the opportunity to get back to the English Premier League in May.